Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has told the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that he believes former South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane was working in the interests of state capture, including when Moyane opened a case with the police against him.
In 2016, Moyane laid criminal charges against Gordhan with regard to former commissioner Ivan Pillay’s pension payout.
The matter was later withdrawn.
Gordhan told Zondo that following his testimony at the commission, he had experienced the consequences of state capture at various state-owned enterprises.
The minister said other facts in his personal knowledge that Moyane contributed to state capture during his tenure as Sars boss were issues of accountability at the revenue service and the dismantling of certain operations at Sars.
Cross-examining the minister on behalf of Moyane, advocate Dali Mpofu asked Gordhan if they were in agreement that the latter was of the view that Moyane had pursued state capture and that the charges Moyane laid were part of state capture motives.
“Yes, with the limited knowledge that was available then,” Gordhan responded.
In response to Mpofu’s question, Gordhan said state capture was an international phenomenon and agreed with the advocate that it was a serious matter that related to corruption, fraud and theft, among other graft issues.
Gordhan further agreed with Mpofu that alleging that a person had been involved in state capture was serious, adding that levelling such allegations would not be based on hate but would be “an objective exercise”.
The minister said a person could be accused of pursuing state capture based on evidence, the perception of the accuser who could reach such a conclusion or make the allegation based on information they have collected.
Mpofu asked Gordhan whether when accusing someone under oath of pursuing state capture, should one rely on evidence or gossip?
“Gossip is a terrible thing to rely on,” Gordhan responded.
Mpofu asked Gordhan if he agreed that in South Africa it had been generally accepted that one of the tell-tale signs that one was involved in state capture was one meeting with the Guptas.
“I’m not sure where this is going,” Gordhan said and Mpofu responded: “Don’t worry about where it’s going just answer the question.”
The minister said when he was reminded of his meeting with the Guptas, he voluntarily disclosed this to Parliament and the commission, which he had not done when asked by the DA in Parliament and in his initial statement to the inquiry.
The minister said hostilities between him and Moyane developed during his tenure as finance minister and that of Moyane as Sars boss.
The commission continues. Watch it below courtesy of the SABC.