Embattled Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has received a word of encouragement from ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu on Thursday as he called for an end to the recent lies alleging that the finance minister had been involved in a criminal activity.
After reports of impending arrest of Finance Minister Gordhan over his alleged involvement in a “rogue unit” during his tenure as commissioner at the South African Revenue Service (Sars) in 2007‚ Gordhan released a statement earlier this week insisting he was innocent.
He included a plea in statement urging South Africans to “protect” the National Treasury from possible hijacking.
The South African Communist Party also rebuked the Hawks on Wednesday‚ with claims that the Hawks orchestrated the campaign to particularly “target and isolate” the minister.
In Gordhan’s defense, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu told reporters during a briefing in Parliament that he was confident in Gordhan’s integrity. He added that all the claims incriminating Gordhan in any criminal activity were lies and anyone found responsible for peddling such lies must be found and subjected to discipline as specified by the law.
Shortly before his 2016 budget speech delivery in February, the Hawks had sent Gordhan questions related to the alleged ‘rogue unit’ activities.
He answered the questions, maintaining that the unit was legally established and had ministerial approval from the then finance minister Trevor Manuel.
With regards to what the country has been going through, Jackson Mthembu used the opportunity to praise the efforts of the finance minister in maintaining the country’s current sovereign score by ratings agency Moody’s.
“We trust and respect all of our ministers‚ without exception. That goes for minister Gordhan as well. He has steered the Treasury very well. He also traveled around the world to impress upon them the prospects of South Africa. But do not forget that he travels with the president around the world‚” Mthembu said.
The ANC in Parliament are strongly behind Gordhan in his fight with the Hawks.