From 'jealousy' to 'fake news': 5 key takes from Pravin Gordhan at the state capture inquiry

01 December 2020 - 12:00
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan says he believes former SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane's personal goals while he was commissioner included the advancement of state capture.
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan says he believes former SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane's personal goals while he was commissioner included the advancement of state capture.
Image: Sunday Times/Alon Skuy

The gloves were off at the state capture inquiry on Monday when public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan squared up with lawyer Dali Mpofu.

Mpofu was cross-examining Gordhan as the lawyer for former SA Revenue Service (Sars) boss Tom Moyane, who has been accused of corruption by Gordhan during Moyane's tenure as Sars commissioner.

The war of words between the two resulted in a spat and hurling of insults.

Here are five key takes from Gordhan's testimony at the inquiry:

Moyane allegedly abused his position

Gordhan accused Moyane of having used his position to advance state capture when he was at Sars.

“I personally believe Mr Moyane did abuse legal processes for reasons already explained in my evidence. I say this based on my experience of his defiant attitude and vilification of me following my reappointment as minister of finance.”

Conspiracies and lack of evidence

Gordhan denied making allegations against Moyane of conspiring with the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2015 without any evidence.

“There was a conspiracy at the time. There were people with information that meetings took place in coffee shops. Let me reflect and come back later.”

Lack of information 

The minister told the inquiry he incorrectly testified Moyane had personally laid a complaint that led to him being criminally charged in October 2016 by the NPA.

“It was a lack of information available at that particular time. The true nature of the complaint only became apparent once documentation was available through the commission.”

Jealous of Moyane 

Gordhan denied being jealous of Moyane because he was the first Sars commissioner to collect R1-trillion in tax, or being racist towards him.

“I am emphatically a nonracialist and my record proves that, of course. I deny any form of racism and racist behaviour. I emphatically deny those assertions. Why do I have to be jealous of Mr Moyane?”

'Fake news' narrative 

The minister also denied accusations made by Mpofu that he was hostile towards Moyane because he blew the whistle about the rogue unit and the early retirement of former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

“Let me emphatically say that all of those assertions have no foundation whatsoever. To throw around notions such as racism and my alleged involvement in corruption is part of the fake news narrative.”


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