South African Government
SINCE being fired as finance minister early in 2017, Pravin Gordhan has been criss-crossing the country, using every possible opportunity to speak against state capture and the destruction of state institutions. Under his watch, Treasury zealously investigated dodgy state tenders, notably at Eskom, winning Gordhan no favours at the Union Buildings, and ultimately contributing to his shock dismissal. However, as a member of the portfolio committee on public enterprises, Gordhan got another chance to highlight the rot at Eskom during Parliament’s enquiry into the utility, which bent over backwards for the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma to “capture” Glencore’s Optimum colliery, among other favours. Gordhan’s ire has not been limited to Eskom – he’s a vocal critic of the state of the South African Revenue Service, which he believes is now a “political project” run by people with no integrity; and the professional firms, notably KPMG, that have enabled state capture by rubber-stamping dodgy financial statements and questionable investigative reports. An active campaigner for Cyril Ramaphosa to become the new ANC president and recently re-elected to the ANC’s National Executive Committee, Gordhan’s time outside government may soon come to an end. A return to Treasury would be the logical step as the country desperately tries to stave off further credit rating downgrades, but perhaps public enterprises would be most deserving of the Gordhan touch?
LIFE OF PRAVIN
A chemist by background, Gordhan, who was jailed for his anti-apartheid activities in the 1980s, was a key figure in the ANC’s underground network. He served as SARS commissioner for a decade from 1999, building it into a world-class institution, before his appointment as finance minister in 2009 – a role he’s fulfilled twice.
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