DA’s brawl with Pravin Gordhan intensifies over SAA-Takatso deal

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Mike Hutchings Reuters

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Mike Hutchings Reuters

Published Apr 4, 2024


The brawl between the DA and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has intensified over the SAA-Takatso deal after Gordhan threatened to take the parliamentary portfolio committee that oversees his department to court.

The committee on public enterprises is recommending an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the collapsed SAA-Takatso deal due to allegations of irregularities suspected when the deal was being negotiated.

These allegations involve impropriety in the appointment of Takatso Consortium to acquire a 51% stake in SAA.

Gordhan had initially given the committee an ultimatum to release the report or face court action.

However, the DA, through its MP Mimmy Gondwe, said that Gordhan should not use public funds to launch his legal battle with the committee.

Gondwe said Gordhan’s legal action undermined the legislative authority and standing of the committee as an extension of Parliament.

Gondwe said if Gordhan had nothing to hide, he had nothing to worry about.

She said he should stop making threats against the committee and co-operate with the SIU to investigate.

The embattled minister, last month, announced his retirement from the government, while his department confirmed in a statement that he had “expressed his intention to retire from active politics” when the term of the current administration comes to an end following the elections.

After the announcement, the DA accused Gordhan of “squandering the public goodwill that he had at the beginning of his tenure in his department by choosing to pander to the ANC and, in the process, failed to clean up the mess created by the criminal state capture project”.

“When former Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter, exposed the existence of deep-seated corruption at Eskom perpetuated by a labyrinth of politically connected criminal networks and costing the entity R1 billion a month, Gordhan decided to close ranks with his ANC comrades. He chose to victimise De Ruyter rather than ask law enforcement agencies to investigate the merits of the corruption allegations.

“He has stubbornly refused to publicly disclose the SAA/Takatso Share Sale and Purchase Agreement documents, citing legally questionable third-party confidentiality. Gordhan has gone to extreme lengths to try and co-opt Parliament into his long drawn-out plan to maintain a veil of secrecy on the SAA/Takatso deal,” the DA had said in a statement.

The DA called Gordhan an ANC lackey and an unprincipled public servant for the greater good.

The Star