President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, has lashed out at former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, calling him an embarrassment with no conscience and that South Africans can see through him.
In a hard-hitting open letter, Zuma reminds Gordhan of his failures as Finance Minister, highlighting a host of corruption scandals that appear to have been swept under the carpet while Gordhan doggedly pursues Zuma and the Guptas. Zuma slammed Gordhan for using his banking “friends” to destroy his reputation and close his bank accounts and warned the former finance minister to stop his verbal assaults while he attempts to sell his assets, or face legal action.
According to reports in mainstream media, Gordhan has said he has referred the letter to his lawyers before responding.
Zuma goes on to question Gordhan’s ethics, suggesting the former minister had interests that he had not declared. He also drew a link between Gordhan’s utterances and the Save SA campaign, which has made its mission of taking down President Zuma clear, leveraging off widespread mainstream media reports of alleged State Capture by the Guptas and Duduzane.
Zuma challenged Gordhan to open a case against him if he believed there was a case.
Read the letter below:
Dear Pravin Gordhan
It gives me no pleasure to write this open letter, but the time for transparency is now.
Mr Gordhan, you were Finance Minister of this country for over six of the last eight years, yet take no responsibility for this country’s economic performance in that time. It is always somebody else’s fault.
While you were in charge at Treasury, starting in 2009, the South Africa economy flatlined, unemployment rose from 21% to 27% and national debt increased from 31% to a record 51%. These are the facts and history will judge you on them.
You have used various state bodies such as the FIC and the Reserve Bank to try and destroy me and my business colleagues with no proof of misconduct. Yet you accuse us of state capture.
You had no shame in wasting taxpayers’ money on your recent legal action, which everybody knew was a waste of time and taxpayers’ money – and which you lost. If you had any conscience you would pay those costs back personally, but you never will.
It has long been rumoured that you own shares in various large South African companies, especially financial services, an area where you have consistently blocked a state bank and more competition. Yet you made no public disclosure of your holdings or noted the potential for conflicts of interest with your decision-making.
All of my bank accounts have been closed by your “friends” in the banking industry. Likely with your support. Anybody can see that you are in bed with them, rather than on the side of hard-working South African citizens.
Let us deal with some key facts that the media has published but chooses largely to ignore:
The Competition Commission charges monopoly businesses regularly in this country. Nothing ever happens to them. Instead they become part of “Save SA”
The banks are charged with currency rigging and instead get immunity if they help the investigation
ABSA still owes billions of Rand in interest from its previous corruption
British American Tobacco is involved in a spying scandal in South Africa
African Bank was declared bankrupt, people’s money was eaten. Then shareholders with government money restart the same bank and all debts are forgiven
Construction companies are found guilty of billions of Rand of fraud at the FIFA World Cup – their bank accounts remain open
The Integrated Financial Management System scandal occurred on your watch
You released your Chief Procurement Officer Kenneth Brown and arranged a job for him at Standard Bank as Public Sector Head
Why are their bank accounts still open? Why are you not calling for inquiries and prosecutions? Yet you ignore all of this and persecute me and my business partners. However:
There were no conclusive findings in the state capture report
A Hawks investigation against me and Gupta family came up with no wrong doing
The ANC invited all whistle blowers to report against me and my business colleagues – which came up with nothing
And still you say we are corrupt – and others are clean.
You are a conspiracy theorist who failed as a Minister of this great country. You grandstand in Parliament and embarrass this country. Do you not think that the people of this country can see what you are doing?
People are innocent until proven guilty. I challenge you – take me to Court if you think you have a case.
Also, you never, ever, want to acknowledge this, but the Gupta family and I have consistently welcomed a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into all state capture.
I, and the Gupta family, pledged 15 months ago to exit our South African investments to make sure the jobs of our fellow South Africans are protected. It has taken a while, but we have done it. You criticise this sale, as you don’t care about jobs for ordinary people, and if it doesn’t fit you and your political agenda.
How do you sleep at night? Does putting over 7,500 South Africans out of work even bother you?
You even criticised the new Mining Charter, which was created for the benefit of ordinary South Africans. You will always protect your friends in big business over the ordinary man.
The youth of this country that is desperate for hope and a chance to succeed, will eventually see you exposed for what you are.
I am selling my shares to be able to focus my time on clearing my name. At this point I would advise you to refrain from further public statements which could affect the current sales and my reputation. I reserve my rights to pursue legal action for the harm you are causing.