President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, who has been implicated in state capture allegations along with his business associates the controversial Gupta brothers, on Monday broke his silence about the ongoing scandal in a strongly worded open letter.
Zuma has accused former finance minister Pravin Gordhan of using numerous state bodies such as the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the Reserve Bank to try to destroy him and the Guptas despite having “no proof of misconduct.”
He has accused the former minister – who was axed from the finance ministry along with his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, during a shambolic Cabinet reshuffle on March 30 that saw South Africa downgraded to junk status by global ratings agencies – of failing to take responsibility for the economic crisis the country faces.
According to Zuma’s son, the Hawks’ investigation into his relationship with the Guptas has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. He said he was innocent until proven guilty and challenged Gordhan to take him to court if he thought otherwise.
Duduzane’s public criticism of Gordhan follows Friday’s tirade by his elder brother Edward, who heckled Gordhan in Pietermaritzburg while the MP was giving a keynote address during the Gandhi Memorial Lecture in Mountain Rise.
Edward labelled Gordhan a liar, traitor, and a stooge of white monopoly capital.
Read Duduzane’s full unedited open 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.
- 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.