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JOHANNESBURG — It’s about to get seriously hot in the political kitchen that is South Africa’s Parliament. Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who was axed in March this year, has publicly called on Zuma to quit. Gordhan, who is still an ordinary MP in Parliament, has been making a lot of noises about the Zupta faction in recent months. But this could now signal a declaration of ‘war’ as it’s still up in the air about whether Parliament will have a secret ballot when it comes to the August 8 no-confidence vote in Zuma. It’s clear which way Gordhan will vote and it’s more clear that he’s willing to risk his political career in the ANC. The question now is whether other ANC MPs will follow him? Zuma could be out of power sooner than expected… – Gareth van Zyl
By Donwald Pressly*
18 July 2017 – Axed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has in no uncertain terms made it clear that for the sake of the African National Congress and the country President Jacob Zuma “should move aside”.
Participating in a panel discussing the legacy of President Nelson Mandela – who would have celebrated his birthday today – Gordhan was asked by the 702 presenter Eusebius McKaiser if he was going to “hide behind ANC speak”.
Gordhan said no he would not hide his views. “I have said it in ANC fora (forums). I have said it… that the president should move aside… and let somebody take over the country … and reset the course that we can fulfil the kind of aspirations that Mandela and his generation had for South Africa.”
Earlier Febe Potgieter Gqubule, an ANC member, was asked if President Zuma was “bad news” for the country. To shouts from the audience, she said: “It is a difficult question.” Pressed further, she said that she had made her views known on the matter in the ANC and she would not make them known in public.
Gordhan said in response to a question from TMG journalist Ranjeni Munusamy as to why despite the mountain of evidence of Gupta-led corruption of the ANC, this matter had not been dissected at the ANC policy conference. He said: “The … point is that state capture is a fact. We must stop ducking around.” Gordhan suggested that at least it had been placed on the table in what he described as “a frank disclosure”.
“Those who are named.. don’t require any more evidence to be presented to the public. I know that we are a country run by the rule of the law… there are some formal processes we need to get through. The notion of state capture…. Those who responsible for bringing people to book are the very ones that refuse to do it.”
He said instead of the bad guys being brought to the table to answer for their alleged evil deeds, good guys – such as the SASSA CEO Thokozani Magwaza who recently resigned – were losing their jobs instead.
Gordhan also said there was a real danger that if the ANC did not act on the information about the “warts” in the organisation, it could lose the confidence of the voters ahead. What was good about the ANC was that the warts had been put on the table – unlike with other political parties.
“We are an organisation where the warts on are on the table.” But he acknowledged that “putting the warts on the table is one thing… what the public wants to see…is what are you doing about it?”
Referring to ANC members hiding behind notions of “complexity” in ducking questions about corruption and state capture, Gordhan referred to Makhozi Khoza, an ANC MP, who had spoken out about state capture. “Here is Makhosi Khoza… says openly she is pursuing ANC… she has a particular view on the (upcoming 8 August) motion of no confidence (in President Zuma) and here is the death threats that she receives… Here is Mr Magwaza who takes a stand among the works steams… speaks the truth to the constitutional court. (He) receives death threats… is this becoming a pattern?”
He said violence and politics was “beginning to get a nasty mix”.
Gordhan argued that this is the context in which one needs to understand complexity.
- Donwald Pressly is editor of Cape Messenger.
Zuma should step aside – Gordhan
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