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8 Things You May Not Know About Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Gordhan giving a speech

As the minister makes his budget speech at the parliament today, we share with you eight things you may not know about him.

  1. Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan was born on April 12 1949 in Durban. The name Pravin is of Sanskrit origin and means knowledgeable skillful and proficient.
  2. Gordhan is married to Vanitha Raju and has two children.
  3. Gordhan attended Sastri College‚ which was formerly an all-Indian boys’ school‚ in Durban. He worked at his family’s clothing store in Prince Edward Street on Saturdays.
  4. He obtained a bachelor of pharmacy degree at the University of Durban Westville in 1973. He had become an activist and a member of the ANC and the SA Communist Party.
  5. ”The fight for liberation is a far bigger struggle than my fight against weight‚” was reportedly what Gordhan said when told that as a ”science person” he should be taking care of his health and weight before campaigning for the ANC‚ said his classmate Ranjith Rammkissoon. “That really sums up his comment. I don’t need to tell you about the personal sacrifices he made in his life for liberation‚” said Ramkissoon in 2011.
  6. He stirred up controversy at the university where‚ according to Gordhan‚ a ”particularly harsh” rector was in charge. Students had to wear ties and he even specified the length of their hair. If they failed the neatness test they were told to take a ferry home. Gordhan was among the students who started to revolt by removing their ties. The lecturer refused to continue with the class so Gordhan and most of the students walked out.
  7. He worked as a pharmacist at King Edward Hospital and had meetings with Mac Maharaj in the hospital storeroom and nurses’ room for advice on how to get involved in organised resistance. He was fired from the hospital for his political activities.
  8. He was detained by the apartheid government on three occasions. In 1981 he was held in solitary confinement for 160 days. He had a beard at the time which his interrogators ripped from his face. – Gordhan spent four years in underground structures.
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Written by How South Africa

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