Treasury backs Gordhan over Malema shares claim

The Treasury moved to defend Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan yesterday from allegations that he owned shares in numerous companies and had been captured by white monopoly capital.

Gordhan was still in China for the Group of 20 Summit and could not comment on the allegations made at a media conference by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.

“Pravin [Gordhan] has shares in all the companies you can think of‚ and then we are talking about state capture because the Guptas have captured Zuma,” Malema said.

“We don’t speak about how the Ruperts [among SA’s richest families] and them have captured Pravin and white monopoly capital has captured the Treasury.

“They’re all captured‚ they are all working for white capital‚” Malema said‚ also referring to former finance ministers Trevor Manuel and Nhlanhla Nene.

“When you take over that office‚ you will want to check who [the] Ruperts want. If Rupert doesn’t want‚ then you can’t appoint.

“Why is Rupert not contesting elections and be appointed as finance minister? It can’t be.

“Let the markets contest elections and appoint finance ministers‚” Malema said. However‚ a ministerial aide said Gordhan had retirement savings, like any other responsible citizen.

These contributions were invested by fund managers at their discretion and the minister had no influence over how and where they were invested, the aid said.

Gordhan is said to have declared his assets and donations to parliament’s committee on interests and ethics‚ like any other member.

In last year’s declarations‚ Gordhan disclosed shares‚ gifts, property and retirement funds. He had no contracts‚ trusts or encumbrances to declare.

A document published by the committee said the companies Gordhan had shares in include SABMiller‚ Bidvest‚ Tiger Brands‚ SPAR‚ Naspers‚ MTN and Standard Bank.

Treasury media officer Yolisa Tyantsi said the department could not respond to queries on the matter until today‚ when Gordhan was back from China.

Meanwhile‚ Malema also announced the EFF was enforcing monthly levies on all its serving MPs‚ the various provincial legislatures and local councils.

This was meant to ensure that the party was not captured. – Additional reporting by Khulekani Magubane and TMG Digital

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