Gordhan wins battle at SAA; churches, students also show big changes coming

Sometimes a footnote speaks more powerfully than a whole book. The nation has received a clear signal that South Africa is coming to an end in the long war of attrition between its crony capitalist-friendly President Jacob Zuma and higher-minded members of his party. In Parliament yesterday, finance minister Pravin Gordhan – the focus of Zuma’s ire – mentioned almost as an aside a fact which says much. He shared that Zuma’s avowed favourite, destructive SA Airways chairman Dudu Myeni, is now a lame duck. Although re-appointed as chairman during restructuring of the airline’s board, this was done merely to ensure a “smooth handover”. Myeni will be gone from Kempton Park, permanently, within a year. Add this week’s unusual high profile speech by ANC Top Six member and Presidential prospect Zweli Mkhize plus ANC stalwart and Anglogold chairman Sipho Pityana‘s public roasting of Zuma, it’s pretty clear a tornado of change is bearing down on South African politics. History also tells us the most effective agents for political change are churches and students. Both these powerful forces are now in play. Religious leaders have publicly sided with Gordhan against Zuma. And university students are also out in force. Hope springs. – Alec Hogg        

By Paul Vecchiatto

(Bloomberg) – The National Treasury is considering state-owned carrier South African Airways’s request for financial support, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said.

The airline needs a new management team and must be able to stand on its own feet withing the next five years, Gordhan told lawmakers in Cape Town on Wednesday. Chairwoman Dudu Myeni was reappointed to ensure proper handover to a new board and will vacate her post after a year, he said.

Pravin Gordhan, South Africa's new finance minister, speaks during a media briefing in Pretoria, South Africa, on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. South Africa's government was left trying to shore up credibility after President Jacob Zuma's debacle over who should run the finance ministry called into question his ability to oversee the economy. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Pravin Gordhan

Gordhan said he will meet with Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown about the sale of a minority stake in the airline. The government reappointed Myeni last week and also appointed 11 new non-executive directors for the carrier.

Religious leaders pledge support for Pravin Gordhan

By Lizeka Tandwa

Johannesburg – Religious leaders unequivocally support Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his fight against the Hawks, the National Religious Leaders Council (NRLC) said on Wednesday.

The NRLC met Gordhan on Wednesday.

“We are gravely concerned about how he is being treated and the implications this has for our country and the fight against corruption,” it said in a statement.

The Hawks’ investigation into Gordhan’s alleged wrongdoing could seriously damage the economy, given the vital role of an effective Treasury.

NRCL members Reverend Ray McCauley, Pundit Ashwin Trikamjee, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and Moulana Ebrahim Bham expressed unequivocal support for Gordhan, his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, director general Lungisa Fuzile, and Treasury staff in general.

“We have confidence in the integrity and ability of the Treasury team and in the way they are doing their work. We would like to strongly warn those who want to raid the institution and destabilise the country not to push the people of South Africa too far. No one, but no one, should treat our country as their personal fiefdom.”

Warning statements

On August 22, the Hawks instructed Gordhan and three former Sars employees – Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg and Oupa Magashula – to present themselves to their office in Pretoria so they could make warning statements.

The unit wanted to question Gordhan about his alleged contraventions of the National Strategic Intelligence Act and Public Finance Management Act. These related to his approval of former Sars commissioner Pillay’s early retirement in 2010 and to the alleged creation of an intelligence unit within Sars.

In a statement, Gordhan said he had taken legal advice and had no obligation to present himself to the Hawks. He said he should be left to do his job in a difficult economic environment.

Gordhan was Sars commissioner between 1999 and 2009. During this period, a so-called “rogue unit” was allegedly established, which was allegedly involved in illegal intelligence gathering. – News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/religious-leaders-pledge-support-for-pravin-gordhan-20160907

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