Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has promised to defend the South African treasury from political thieves with the last drop of his blood.
The minister said this to the treasury staff on Friday afternoon telling them he is aware of the speculation over a cabinet reshuffle and the hidden plans to unseat him as the finance minister.
Gordhan encouraged his staff to remain committed to their duties and work with whoever is the minister of finance but pointed out that he would never back down from fighting corruption and that he is very prepared to die to save the country from thieves.
One of the staff who was present at the time of Gordha’s speech revealed to the media that the minister said what happened to his predecessor Nhlanhla Nene, could happen to him as well.
“He said this is part of a bigger political battle. Don’t be surprised if me and the deputy minister [Mcebisi Jonas] are removed this weekend” the source said.
“He said he will face whatever consequences that may come even if it means dying for saving the country from the thieves,” said one source.
There has been news circulating that the current issue between the minister and the Hawks is a ploy by politically strong individuals, like President Zuma, to wriggle out the powers of the treasury from the minister in order to further perpetrate their evils on the state’s finance.
Informants present at the meeting told the Buzzsouthafrica that Gordhan made it clear that he was being persecuted for doing his job by investigating contracts with companies owned by the Guptas but that he would not back down from investigating irregular state contracts – even if he was fired.
One of the sources said Gordhan told them: “I am a political appointee and you guys are civil servants, let’s continue fighting corruption. We are not going to stop.”
“He also said Treasury was being persecuted for fighting corruption and this was nothing new because he was persecuted by the security branch and apartheid police and was willing to die.
These include the contracts between the Gupta-owned coal company, Tegeta, has with Eskom; the Gupta a partnership between the Gupta-linked arms company VR Laser Asia and state weapons maker Denel and lucrative deals that another Gupta-linked company, Trillian, enjoys with Transnet.
Analyst who has closely watched the rift between the Finance Minister and the hawks believe that plans by Gordhan’s enemy are strong enough to gun him down, “he’s made lots of enemies. There is war on in the ANC. There are factions in the ANC. It’s a collaboration of convenience. It’s about self-preservation.”