Why Gordhan Refused To Answer New Age Journalist’s Question

Pravin Gordhan

Pravin Gordhan
image source: www.timeslive.co.za

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan avoided questions on his fraud charges and his recent Gupta revelations at a press briefing

Gordhan was asked by a journalist from the Gupta-owned, The New Age publication whether he felt the current fraud charges against him affected the country negatively.

The minister then coyly said: “If I answer that question you won’t get paid.”

He then added: “In any situation in any part of the world, what you require is the least amount of volatility and a great amount of instability.”

He said that this needed to be done in the interest of citizens. He said this applied to any part of the world.

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“If you look anywhere in the world they all have their difficulties.” 

He concluded saying: “I can’t comment on myself. That’s part of a legal process.” 

He was speaking at a finance briefing at the office of the premier of KwaZulu-Natal. The majority of the briefing focused on the upcoming Medium Term Budget Policy Statement next week.

Further questions could not be asked to Gordhan at Tuesday’s briefing as he left after two questions, including one by The New Age reporter. The transactions worth R6.8bn involving the Gupta family were featured in a court application filed by Gordhan.

The FIC deemed these transactions, concluded between 2012 and June 2016, to be “suspicious” as they did not relate to legitimate business transactions.

Last week NPA head Shaun Abrahams announced that Gordhan, former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and former commissioner Oupa Magashula would be charged with fraud in relation to an early retirement payout granted to Pillay in 2010, and the extension of his contract.

They are expected to appear in court on November 2.

On Monday Abrahams invited Gordhan to make representations to him on Tuesday.

The invite was also extended to Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza and Sars commissioner Tom Moyane.

The NPA on Monday confirmed the invitation, despite Gordhan’s public pronouncement that he would not be making representations.

The three had until 17:00 on Tuesday to send their representations.

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