LISTEN | Pravin Gordhan heckled at Wits lecture on SOE reforms after state capture
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan was heckled by attendees at a public lecture in Johannesburg on Thursday evening.
Gordhan was speaking about the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at an event hosted by the Wits School of Governance as part of the university’s centenary celebrations.
The lecture descended into chaos when some attendees shouted accusations that he is failing to fix SOEs, including Eskom, and called for his resignation.
The department of public enterprises on Friday condemned the “unruly behaviour of a small clique” who were hell-bent on disrupting the public lecture.
“The conduct by the disruptors posing as guests was appalling, to say the least.”
Minister Pravin Gordhan is whisked away by security after crowd chants that he must resign. Gordhan and factions in the crowd engaged briefly in insults, accusing them of been "the ones that want to see State Capture continue." pic.twitter.com/9WQD6P6M86— Oliver Meth (they/them) (@oliver_meth) July 7, 2022
Nkateko Muloiwa, a master’s candidate at wits University asks minister Gordhan why he refuses to take accountability of state capture. He says Pravin was finance minister in the Zuma years. He’s call for accountability was acknowledged by students as they disrupted the lecture. pic.twitter.com/4HwcXdeKx8— Kanakana_Mudzanani (@Kanakanalive) July 7, 2022
The department said the aim of those who disrupted Gordhan was not to engage but to intimidate.
“The minister was waiting for questions. He waited until the end. Instead he was the target of a vitriolic, racist attack,” the department said.
“Let us repeat, we will not be intimidated nor threatened by their well-orchestrated performance. We will continue to engage stakeholders all over our country without fear so all South Africans know the truth about corruption and the corrupt.”
During his address, Gordhan warned of the risk of “state capture 2.0” by people determined to continue to plunder state resources for their own benefit.
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