No doubt, finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is apparently caught in a bind following a power tussle that ensued between him and the head of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Tom Moyane.
Gordhan is yet to discern the ‘fellow’ or ‘fellows’ behind the grapple that wants to paint him black and ‘distract him from diligently carrying out his responsibilities’ according ANC secretary general Mantashe.
While his boss, President Jacob Zuma, and the nation’s tax commissioner are enfeebling his authority, he risks seeing South Africa’s economy fall like a pack of cards if he resigns.
Gordhan, having threatened to resign earlier lately opened up, saying he no longer has the intention of resigning as he has been given a job to do in December and would continue with his mission.
No authority would like to rub shoulders with its subordinates and that’s why Gordhan has stretched the olive branch demanding for “decency from the equivalent of a director-general at the end of the day,” having spoken to John Robbie on Talk Radio 702 from New York on Wednesday.
He further revealed that his relationship with Moyane was in the hands of President Jacob Zuma.
“The president has said he is setting up a process. Let’s leave it at that,” Gordhan stressed.
He had earlier responded to the publicly visible tension between him and Tom Moyaneby at a PwC post-budget function saying it is “absolutely unacceptable” for the head of a government entity to be “defiant” of the executive authority responsible for that entity.
He reiterated that there were matters to be sorted out between the Treasury and SARS management.
However, speaking about the Hawks, the minister said “I will worry about the Hawks when I’ve finished my main job that I’m paid for. Most of the answers are public knowledge.”
Gordhan, who headed the tax agency from 1999 to 2009, had severally maintained the so called ‘rogue unit’ was legitimately established. But, President Zuma insisted the investigation should run its course.
Just as Buzzsouthafrica is yet to substantiate the driving forces behind Gordhan versus Moyane’s scuffle, well-meaning South Africans have called for caution in handling the matter.
One of them is Daniel Silke, the director of Political Futures Consultancy, who opined that “the pressure is on him [Gordhan] to fight it out.”
“If the position becomes that untenable or he is intimidated to the point where he simply wishes to throw in the towel, it’s obviously his prerogative to do so. He would then witness what could be a disastrous market reaction.”
To worsen it all, it even appears that investors are yet to thrust their heads confidently in South Africa after Zuma decided in December to install little-known lawmaker David van Rooyen as finance minister.
Be that as it may, the finance minister has moved to hearten financial markets that the government is serious about meeting its fiscal goals after Moody’s Investors Service said it’s reviewing whether to cut the nation’s credit rating to one level above junk.