‘Minister has something to hide’: Holomisa on Gordhan’s ‘dramatic’ meeting with MPs on SAA deal

29 February 2024 - 14:07
Minister Pravin Gordhan is in the spotlight following a meeting with parliament’s public enterprises committee. File photo.
Image: Brenton Geach Minister Pravin Gordhan is in the spotlight following a meeting with parliament’s public enterprises committee. File photo.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against minister Pravin Gordhan after his “dramatic” meeting with parliament’s public enterprises committee. 

Gordhan appeared before the committee on Wednesday to present documents relating to the sale of 51% of SAA to Takatso consortium as a preferred strategic partner. The minister requested the meeting be held in camera without the presence of the media.

Holomisa, in a letter to Ramaphosa, accused Gordhan of having “something to hide” in the SAA deal after requesting committee members to a sign non-disclosure agreement before documents were presented.

“Minister Gordhan continues to play delaying tactics in the entire matter. What is, however, most shocking is that the minister in essence wants to muzzle a parliamentary committee. Why have a meeting with the minister in camera and worse still want to have a parliamentary committee sign a non-disclosure agreement,” Holomisa said. 

Holomisa asked Ramaphosa to fire Gordhan, claiming the minister “made a mess” of the SAA deal. 

“Mr President, minister Gordhan had made a mess of the SAA sale, but this latest debacle with the committee of public enterprises shows that the minister has something to hide and is wanting to bring parliament into hiding his dirty deeds. We therefore call on you to remove minister Gordhan from office with immediate effect,” he said. 

“The UDM still would like to know why a 51% stake in SAA was sold ... What was the impetus for such a decision?”

The share sale started in June 2021 and Takatso was expected to invest more than R3bn over three years. 

DA MP Farhat Essack, a member of the committee, earlier this month said the party had attempted to get documents of the sale since March 2022 but had failed.

“Gordhan flatly ignored a PAIA [Promotion of Access to Information Act] application that we submitted in March 2022 and subsequent appeals that we submitted. Every time the DA has cornered him in committee over the release of these critical documents, he has conveniently cited confidentiality concerns embedded in the deal. 

“What Gordhan fails to realise is that SAA is still a schedule 2 public company under the Public Finance Management Act, whose clear objective is ‘to secure transparency, accountability, and sound management of the revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the institutions to which the act applies’,” Essack said. 

TimesLIVE Premium reported on Wednesday that Gordhan had given the much-awaited documents to the committee after a fierce debate. 

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