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Compiled by Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Gordhan warns DA MP not to threaten him over SAA deal

DA MP Mimmy Gondwe accused Gordhan of wasting public funds if he follows through with his threat to take legal action against Parliament.

The public spat between Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises is continuing, with Gordhan warning a DA member of the committee not to “threaten” him.

Gordhan at loggerheads with parliament

The parliamentary committee is looking into the deal between South African Airways (SAA) and Takatso, which has since been terminated.

Gordhan was accused by former Public Enterprises director-general Kgathatso Tlhakudi of handpicking Takatso for the SAA deal.

Although Gordhan insists the proposed sale of SAA was above board, the parliamentary committee in March called for the SIU to investigate irregularities in the deal.  

This led to the public enterprises minister sending a letter to the committee which stated his intention to take legal action if it referred the matter to the SIU.

ALSO READ: Gordhan threatens legal action against Parliament to prevent SIU investigating SAA deal

MPs, however, were not swayed by the threat of legal action.

Gordhan’s letter to DA’s Mimmy Gondwe

The Sunday Times is now reporting that Gordhan has since written a letter to DA MP Mimmy Gondwe, lambasting her for criticising him for using public funds to review the parliamentary report into the SAA deal.

“I have not appeared before parliament in my personal capacity. As a result, a review of the report will be done in my official capacity as the minister of public enterprises.

“Further, it is my legal right to take the report on review if I am advised that there is a legal basis for that. No-one, including you, will threaten me not to exercise my legal rights to take the report on review.”

‘You will fail’

Gordhan also accused Gondwe of playing politics ahead of the elections in May.

“Let me remind you that on March 6 2024 you released a statement [saying] that you [would] no longer participate in the process of the committee regarding the SAA SEP transaction. It is clear that you have been directed by your party bosses to behave in this undignified way — to make whatever capital you can as part of your party’s campaign. You will fail.”

ALSO READ: Gordhan must do ‘what he feels has to be done’, says Ntshavheni on SAA-Takatso legal threat

Gondwe did not take the latter lying down.

“As a member of parliament, elected on my own merit and on the basis of my capabilities, I do not take kindly to the insinuation made in your letter, where you appear to imply that I am incapable of thinking for myself and have to take ‘directions’ from some ‘party bosses’ to do my parliamentary work,” she responded.

She further highlighted parliament’s duty to hold the executive to account and said Gordhan’s threat of legal action sets “a bad precedent that would poison the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature”.

She also accused Gordhan of “bullying” and “attempting to intimidate MPs”.

ALSO READ: ‘He’s made a mess of SAA sale’ – Ramaphosa urged to fire Gordhan over Takatso deal

Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa.