DA: Gordhan’s arrest = economic earthquake. 9/12 would pale in comparison.

From News24

Cape Town – The arrest of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan would cause an economic earthquake and make “9/12” look like a minor economic tremor, the DA said in a statement on Sunday.

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan reacts during a media briefing in Sandton near Johannesburg,March 14, 2016. Gordhan said on Monday he had constructive discussions with ratings agencies on a roadshow in London and the United States last week as Pretoria tries to fend off downgrades amid weak economic growth. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Responding to a Sunday Times report that Gordhan faces “imminent arrest” after the Hawks handed a docket over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for his involvement in the SA Revenue Service’s “rogue unit”, DA shadow minister of finance David Maynier said the move would be a disaster for the country.

The timing of the rumours could not be worse and would not only cause further turmoil in the markets, but also compromise efforts to avoid a ratings downgrade in South Africa, he said.

“9/12” refers to December 9 last year when President Jacob Zuma unceremoniously sacked then Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, replacing him with the unknown David Des van Rooyen. Van Rooyen’s appointment lasted only four days before Gordhan was recalled to his old post.

The aftermath of the event had been well documented and Biznews.com founder Alec Hogg calculated the immediate loss to the country as R500bn.

Maynier said the report that authorities were waiting for the “political go-ahead” before arresting Gordhan and eight other officials to face charges relating to the SARS “rogue unit” was worrying.

“This suggests that the investigation is politically motivated and part of President Jacob Zuma’s fight back campaign and attempt to neuter National Treasury.

Read also: How world sees us: Gordhan going “would wreak complete chaos on SA markets”

“The only option, with any hope of avoiding mutually assured destruction is to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry, in terms of Section 84 of the Constitution, to investigate all the allegations surrounding the so-called Sars ‘rogue unit’,” said Maynier.

Luvuyo Mfaku, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, on Sunday however said no decision had been made to prosecute and that the matter remained under investigation. – Fin24

Source: http://www.fin24.com/Economy/gordhan-arrest-will-cause-economic-earthquake-da-20160515