EFF accuses Gordhan of reign of terror at SOEs

EFF accuses Gordhan of reign of terror at SOEs.
EFF accuses Gordhan of reign of terror at SOEs.
Image: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

The Economic Freedom Fighters has accused Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan of conducting a reign of terror at state-owned enterprises.

In a letter signed by EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee‚ the party accuses Gordhan of using unlawful means to conduct his reign of terror under the guise of “cleaning up” and “fighting state capture”.

Among the accusations‚ the EFF said Gordhan was conducting unplanned physical visits at the offices of public enterprises‚ using verbal warnings of instant removal from the boards and other intimidation and bullying tactics.

The EFF claimed that Gordhan uses‚ among other tactics‚ wild allegations against innocent board members; racism and other forms of unfair discrimination; unlawful instructions regarding operational matters and the dismissal of staff members.

“We are particularly concerned about the Minister Pravin Gordhan’s micromanagement of SOEs and their boards as this is against the law. We are also aware that he intends to instruct for the suspension of Transnet’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) [Siyabonga Gama] without due process and reason…‚” the EFF said.

The response by Gordhan’s office to a request on Sunday by this publication for comment was simply: “The DPE and the Minister will not respond.”

The EFF also accused Gordhan of using his former colleagues and close associates on SOE boards to haunt and hound executives of these corporations with no regard to factual basis.

It further accused Gordhan of allegedly chairing meetings which are not designated AGMs at Eskom with the board and executives.“He is planning similar meetings in Transnet and Denel‚ he is usurping the role of the boards‚ instructing boards what to do and generally interfering‚” the party said in the letter.

The EFF letter is directed to all board members of state-owned enterprises and has been cc’d to President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele‚ Gordhan and a chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee.

Gordhan took over from Lynne Brown in February in Ramaphosa’s new cabinet. His appointment was seen as a move to deal with state capture in SOEs which had resulted in serious losses to the state.

Gordhan had been sacked by then president Jacob Zuma as finance minister in March 2017.

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