Business Leadership South Africa notes with concern recent reports that Mr Pravin Gordhan, the former finance minister, is again subject to investigation by the Hawks.
In 2016 the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority sought to bring a spurious set of charges against Mr Gordhan. These charges were subsequently withdrawn, raising serious questions whether they were not politically motivated, thereby undermining public trust and business confidence in these key institutions of state.
The current rumours raise again these same concerns. They gain added weight from the surprising and unexplained senior personnel changes announced last week at The Treasury which add to fears about the politicisation of this key institution.
For these reasons, BLSA calls upon the Hawks to confirm whether they are indeed investigating former minister Gordhan. They should also explain why they have chosen to focus on the former Minster in the midst of manifest and widespread evidence of corruption linked to the GuptaLeaks, where they have taken no visible action.
BLSA chief executive Bonang Mohale commented: “Business is committed to driving inclusive growth and transformation in South Africa. The recent launch of our Contract with South Africa is evidence of our intention to make a difference, underpinning our status as patriotic South Africans. We can only do this, however, if Government helps provide an enabling environment, with sound policies aimed at the betterment of all in society. Corruption and state capture, unfortunately, are cancers which damage all in society, especially the poorest.
It is for this reason that BLSA feels bound to speak out about these latest developments. The independence of these key institutions of state is central to the rule of law, without which Business cannot drive the prosperity South Africa so urgently requires.
The business community has lost confidence that SARS, the Hawks and the NPA are independent and are acting without fear or favour. We call upon the ANC Alliance to take action to address the crisis of confidence in these vital state institutions through ensuring their independence and integrity.
For further information:
Kate Johns: firstname.lastname@example.org and 082 805 0210