One of the stories was headlined, “Fikile Mbalula, Pravin Gordhan allegedly fell out over R17bn Sanral contracts”, while another read: “Fikile Mbalula allegedly accuses Pravin Gordhan of trying to cause rift”.
The ministers said the stories contained “dishonest speculation”.
"[They] make accusations, with no factual basis, that minister Gordhan has improper, corrupt relationships with service providers of the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral), that 'Gordhan interfered' in Sanral tenders to benefit a private company and that there is disunity and divisions in cabinet.
“These events, which according to the group’s newspapers, are based on the mythical accounts of anonymous 'Sanral and government sources', apparently occurred at a cabinet meeting on May 18 2021, where, the public is told, the two ministers 'fell out' about Sanral contracts,” they said.
Dismissing the reports as false, the two ministers said: “First, minister Gordhan did not attend the cabinet meeting because of other responsibilities. Second, minister Gordhan has no business or personal interest in, or with any company that does business with Sanral. Third, he has no authority at all over Sanral or its procurement processes — the entity reports to minister Mbalula.”