The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has endorsed a statement by a group of ANC stalwarts backing Pravin Gordhan and expressed dismay at the attacks levelled at the Public Enterprises Minister.
In a statement released on Friday, the foundation called for support in endorsing the statement which indicates the onslaught against Gordhan is also directed at President Cyril Ramaphosa by proponents of the state capture fightback, designed to bring about the removal of a president “committed to rehabilitating the country’s institutions and eliminating corruption”.
“Minister Gordhan continues to serve as a bulwark against corruption and looting,” the foundation’s executive director Neeshan Balton said.
“If the President succumbs to pressure to remove him from office, he will be giving in to those who don’t want state capture to come to an end and who don’t want to see reform. This will ultimately destroy what little institutional functionality exists at key SOEs (stated-owned enterprises).
“We implore the President, those who stand against state capture within the ruling party and all political and labour formations, to not accede to the demands of those hell-bent on continuing the state capture project, and who wish to manipulate Eskom’s crises to serve their narrow political and self-interests.”
The foundation added that Ramaphosa should not give in to threats by the EFF to disrupt the State of the Nation Address should Minister Gordhan remain in office.
Balton called on other organisations to endorse the statement and urged business, civil society and all South Africans to continue resisting what appeared to be a renewed wave of attack by networks leading the state capture “fightback”.
“We will not allow the gains that we have collectively made in defeating state capture over the last few years, to be undone,” he said.
News24 previously reported that ANC stalwarts and veterans said they were “appalled at the utterances of those who have couched a political assault on Comrade Pravin Gordhan with insincere concern over the crisis at Eskom”.
The 20 elders who signed the statement, which included Wally Serote, Mavuso Msimang, Frank Chikane, Sydney Mufamadi, Cheryl Carolus and Aziz Pahad, said the perpetrators of these attacks come from within and outside the ANC.
“We call on President Ramaphosa to stand firm and refuse to bend the knee to those who serve with him in the NEC (national executive committee) and Cabinet who would steal from and cripple the state. There is no ‘unity’ to be had with them, their ignominious defeat is certain,” the statement read.
Earlier this week, Fin24 reported that the ANC Women’s League and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) had called for the power utility to be reconfigured to the energy department after Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza resigned, apologising because Eskom did not keep to its commitment to avoid load shedding until January 13.
It is currently under Gordhan’s leadership within the portfolio of the Public Enterprises Department.