'If people like Pravin Gordhan fall, corruption will not be defeated': SACP

18 July 2019 - 13:59 By Amil Umraw
The SA Communist Party has come out strongly in support of Pravin Gordhan and his fight against state capture and corruption. Spokesperson Alex Mashilo lashed public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for repeating the 'old Sars rogue unit narrative' and wasting taxpayers' money. File image
The SA Communist Party has come out strongly in support of Pravin Gordhan and his fight against state capture and corruption. Spokesperson Alex Mashilo lashed public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for repeating the 'old Sars rogue unit narrative' and wasting taxpayers' money. File image
Image: Masi Losi

The South African Communist Party says it will lobby for the National Assembly to begin a process to review public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

The party, along with various civil society organisations, threw its support behind public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

At a media briefing at the Constitutional Court on Thursday, SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said South Africa was facing a "concerted fightback against the renewal of our society by many of those implicated in state capture".

He was reading a joint statement by the SACP and other civil society organisations such as the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

"There is an attempt to subvert the processes under way to rebuild efficient and ethical governance, so that they may remain unaccountable. State establishments, legislative bodies, political parties and private entities continue to be used by networks of the state capture fightback to hamper efforts to clean up our government," he said.

"We will make it clear that we refuse to allow ministers, public officials, whistle-blowers, activists and journalists who speak out against state capture to be targeted, subdued and defamed by political bullies, individuals and entities who seek to undermine their efforts."

The protest is scheduled to take place outside Johannesburg's city hall.

Mashilo lashed out at Mkhwebane, saying he found it "concerning" that the Revenue Services's "rogue unit" narrative was again being perpetuated.

"What is disturbing is that this effort is premised on recent reports by the office of the public protector. Public money, going into the billions, has been diverted from state coffers over the past few years, but the public protector seems to be overly preoccupied with the old rogue unit narrative," he said.

"This narrative has been previously exposed as being a tool that was used to cripple Sars’s capacity and its effectiveness … The same approach is now being applied to the broader state capture project."

In its campaign, these organisations will, among others, call on the National Prosecuting Authority to press charges against those implicated in state capture and lobby for the National Assembly to begin a process of reviewing Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

SACP deputy general-secretary Solly Mapaila said the narrative that Gordhan was "anti-black" was untrue and was created to perpetuate corruption in state-owned entities.

"People like Gordhan should be protected by all of us. If we allow someone like Gordhan to fall, all of us will fall one by one, corruption will never be defeated," he said.

"We fought very hard to be where we were, we can’t allow to be taken back … It’s high time that we get more vigilant and mobilised and particularly deal with the criminal elements, some which have held our democratic institutions at ransom."


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