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EFF wants public protector to probe Pravin Gordhan's Gupta 'meetings'

Public Enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan.
Public Enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan.

The EFF has submitted a complaint to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane‚ asking that her office investigate a violation of the executive ethics code by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

In a statement on Thursday‚ the EFF quoted Gordhan‚ who‚ in response to a parliamentary question‚ said he had never met the controversial Gupta family in their Saxonwold home‚ but had encountered members of the family at public events.

The EFF alleges that Gordhan deliberately did not disclose a meeting held with Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and Ajay Gupta to discuss investment opportunities in MTN.

“Not disclosing meetings and engagements when a minister is asked about them is a serious violation of the executive ethics code… Beyond undermining the executive ethics code‚ by lying to parliament‚ Gordhan has violated his oath of office and‚ thus‚ the constitution‚” the party said.

“It is absolutely impossible that [Gordhan] was not aware that he held a meeting with Ajay Gupta‚ and claiming amnesia‚ even now‚ is opportunistic and further misleading the people of South Africa.”

The EFF’s submission comes after Gordhan’s affidavit to deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo’s state capture inquiry was leaked earlier this week. Gordhan is expected to appear before the inquiry next week.

In his affidavit‚ Gordhan said he was first introduced to the Gupta family by former president Jacob Zuma.

He admitted to meeting Ambani in 2010‚ while serving as finance minister‚ at the behest of one of the Gupta brothers. He said thereafter he only ever encountered the family at public events.

Gordhan has also been subpoenaed to appear before Mkhwebane next week in relation to an investigation into the approval of an early-retirement package awarded to former SA Revenue Service (Sars) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay in 2010.

- TMG Digital.

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