EFF labels ‘state capturer’ Gordhan a Gupta ‘accomplice’

The party accuses the minister of being in the 'pockets' of the Guptas, and Tiso Blackstar of being his propagandists.

In a leaked statement ahead of his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan details an official meeting as well as three other occasions at which he saw the controversial Gupta family.

While BusinessLive has reported that the sworn affidavit submitted by Gordhan proves he has “nothing to hide”, the EFF have released a statement in which they vehemently disagree.

The strongly worded statement calls Gordhan a “master manipulator” who was an “accomplice to the Guptas’ activities”.

READ MORE: Shivambu lashes out at Gordhan in paranoid blog post

The EFF claim that Tiso Blackstar, the media conglomerate BusinessLive is owned by, are Gordhan’s “propagandists”, who are seeking to drive a narrative absolving Gordhan of what they claim is his complicity in state capture.

According to the party, “virtually everyone who served in strategic positions in Zuma’s cabinet since 2009 were in the pockets and under the micromanagement of the Guptas, and this includes Pravin Gordhan”.

The statement then goes on to list some of the many other kinds of misconduct the party accuses Gordhan of, all of which have been mentioned before.

The party’s war against Gordhan has been intensifying throughout the year, with the party having been accused of descending into all-out conspiracy theories in their accusations against the minister.

These have included, recently, EFF leader Julius Malema’s assertion, at a press conference held to address the party’s alleged role in the VBS bank scandal, that the party was implicated in the debacle in an alleged witch-hunt executed by Gordhan alongside Treasury.

The party believes this is as a result of their role in pushing for the removal of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

“We know that Pravin Gordhan and his faction are angry about [the removal of Nene] and they’ve launched a media attack on the EFF to try and shut us up,” he alleged.

READ MORE: Malema takes aim at ‘Stalinist’ Gordhan

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu levelled a series of damning accusations against Gordhan in a paranoid, rambling blog post, including that he is running a “cabal” and “operating a parallel state apparatus”.

And just yesterday, EFF spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, speaking at the standing committee on finance about the VBS scandal, asked the author of the VBS Mutual Bank report, advocate Terry Motau, questions that appeared to reinforce the party’s belief that Gordhan was involved in smearing them through the VBS scandal.

“Did you meet any individuals to discuss the report before its release? For example, Mr Pravin Gordhan, did you meet him to discuss the report or anyone on the Treasury? If you did, what was the basis and what were the discussions?” he asked Motau.

READ MORE: Malema declares war on Ramaphosa, Motsepe and Gordhan

The EFF’s targeting of Gordhan as one of their primary enemies has intensified throughout the year.

It appeared to begin in early July at an EFF press conference, where Malema lashed out at Gordhan, calling him, among other things, a “Stalinist”, “control freak”, and “gangster”.

Not long afterwards, speaking at the party’s fifth birthday celebrations in the Eastern Cape, he mentioned what has since become his regular accusation that Gordhan, not President Cyril Ramaphosa, is running the state.

“Our people know that Ramophosa is not in charge, but it is Pravin. Our people know that Ramaphosa wants to privatise Eskom, Denel and SAA. These SOEs should not be privatised but should be kept for our people to curb unemployment,” said the leader of the red berets at the time.

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