The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Wednesday continued its attack on public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, publishing a 10-point pamphlet setting out its reasons for demanding president Cyril Ramaphosa fires one of his key political allies.
The list starts with the discredited claims that Gordhan established an illicit intelligence gathering unit within the South African Revenue Service.
Next, it raises the early retirement with full benefits of former SARS deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, who was subsequently rehired on a fixed term basis.
Both matters go back more than a decade and have been dismissed by the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks, but revived in investigations by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in response to complaints filed by the EFF.
She recommended disciplinary action against the minister but Gordhan has launched a legal review of her findings. She is also fighting to hold onto office after parliament initiated a process for her removal.
The EFF also accuses Gordhan of deliberately “collapsing Eskom” to benefit independent power producers, including his daughter.
It further accuses him of pushing South African Airways to the brink to pave the way for privatisation, and also says he is responsible for purging black executives from parastatals.
In an apparent reference to new Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter, it claims that the minister is “employing white minorities” who have previously failed to successfully run complex enterprises.
South Africa’s radical leftist EFF addresses supporters
“The ANC is very scared of you,” Julius Malema, the leader of South Africa’s radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters, tells supporters at the Orlando stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, ahead of the country’s general elections on Wednesday.
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) February 12, 2020
“Pravin is at the forefront of looting state assets, and this will be done through privatisation of Eskom, Denel, Transnet and SAA,” reads the pamphlet, posted on Twitter.
The EFF has waged a steady political campaign against Gordhan, who has made it his stated mission to stabilise public entities crippled by years of corruption. He has in turn accused the party of forming part of the so-called fight-back campaign against Ramaphosa.
At the weekend, the EFF issued a threat to Ramaphosa that it would disrupt his state of the nation address on Thursday unless he fired the minister beforehand.
Gordhan’s office on Wednesday declined to comment on the party’s statements. African News Agency/ANA