With Gordhan gone, who will guard against corruption?

Former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, was fired on March 30. We all are wondering why Gordhan was removed.  After all, he was not involved in any corruption charges.

He did not use state money to build his house. He was not charged for any immoral acts. He did not appoint any members of his family, ethnic group, tribe, or party to any government position. A colleague encapsulated Gordhan in a ditty, “Amidst corruption rife, he lived a simple life with one wife, alas, he’s been stabbed in the back with a knife.”

Many political analysts predicted that Gordhan will be replaced by fair or foul means. It seems that the latter succeeded much against the will of the people. Propaganda and smear campaigns were initially used to discredit the minister, but they all failed.

The first was an organised rumour that Gordhan falsified his educational qualifications, however, he never did, although many of his colleagues in government did. Another ‘leaked’ story was that Gordhan was a part of an Indian cabal planning to take over the ANC. This theory also failed. Then the state prosecutor pressed charges against him. These charges were embarrassingly withdrawn because they were baseless.

It was observed that the people behind all these hateful manoeuvres were by now frustrated because all attempts to discredit the finance minister or force him to resign failed. Gordhan still stood tall and could not be bought or intimidated.

Finally, when all other moves failed, he was fired on the basis of a so called ‘intelligence’ report. The ‘intelligence’ obtained said that Gordhan was planning to overthrow the government of South Africa. How can one man, during one trip, overthrow a government that he and millions fought for over so many years?

The new minister, Malusi Gigaba, and his deputy, Sifiso Buthelezi, share common ties with President Zuma, a commentator wrote.  In addition, Gigaba has the distinct honour of having attended a Gupta wedding. A connection with this foreign family from India can be financially lucrative to many in power, concludes the commentator.

Economist, Jammine, declares that Gigaba is a Gupta acolyte. Gordhan blocked the outflow of money to state owned enterprises such as SAA, Eskom, and SABC. These institutions continue to show a deficit of millions of rands because of poor management. The former minister did not readily approve the proposed nuclear project estimated to cost a trillion rands. Will the new minister follow in his footsteps?

It is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Let us observe how many incorruptible people stand by Gordhan and can sacrifice lucrative positions in the name of honesty, truth and good governance in the tradition of Mandela.


Dr Guru Kistnasamy

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