Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has approached the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to seek for an extension on the deadline to submit an affidavit related to the so-called rogue unit at the South African Revenue Service (Sars).
Last week, Mkhwebane ordered the minister to provide her with an affidavit on the allegations against him by 1pm today, following a complaint lodged by EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu last year.
The minister said that people trying to purge the legacy of state capture from government are faced with a fightback.
“You can’t have seven working days to produce an expansive affidavit in response to the questions that were asked, so we’ve asked for a postponement and I hope we hear today what the result of that is,” said the ministry.
The allegations against Gordhan are not new. In June last year, the rogue unit matter surfaced during hearings of the Nugent Commission, which was charged with probing governance and administration at Sars while commissioner Tom Moyane was at the helm.
It was heard that Moyane was one of the main people alleging that Gordhan operated a rogue unit while Sars commissioner. Moyane did not give evidence before the commission but instead wanted to stall proceedings, which the retiree judge Robert Nugent rejected.
Gordhan’s spokesperson Adrian Lackay last week said the same set of allegations had been investigated repeatedly by various institutions – including the Office of the Public Protector in 2014.
“The latest subpoena was leaked to the media while we were in the process of consulting counsel to determine the most appropriate legal response to what clearly amounts to persistent harassment of Minister Gordhan and flagrant abuse of office,” Lackay said.
“We must once again call on the public to connect a new set of dots and get an appreciation for the determined efforts to distract public attention from the broad attempts to ensure clean governance in our country”
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.