'It's Pravin Gordhan behind this,' says Iqbal Survé after his office is raided
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) on Wednesday conducted a raid at the offices of businessman Iqbal Survé, the chairperson of Independent Media.
The regulator said in a statement that the operation was part of an investigation into allegations of "prohibited trading practices (market manipulation)", which could be a contravention of the Financial Markets Act.
"The order for the search was granted by justice PAL Gamble of the Western Cape high court on October 8 2019. It allows the FSCA to conduct the search under the supervision of an independent attorney," said the authority.
However, Survé lambasted the regulator for the raid, which he described as a "political case".
In a video posted on Independent's Business Report website, Survé said: "It's Pravin Gordhan behind this."
He accused the FSCA of obtaining a court order from a judge associated with the Democratic Alliance and Gordhan.
"You went to a judge who is a friend of the DA and Pravin Gordhan. This is purely a fishing expedition on your part," he said, speaking to an official from FSCA.
He also claimed that a first judge refused to give the court order.
In the Business Report story, Survé described the raid as "an orchestrated campaign" and a "fishing expedition" to prevent Independent from publishing stories that would expose Gordhan, the public enterprises minister.
The FSCA said it was mandated to investigate and, in appropriate instances, take enforcement action in cases of market abuse on the financial markets.
"This is to maintain the integrity of the financial sector by ensuring that all regulated entities, their key individuals and representatives always act in the best interest of the South African consumer," it said in a statement.