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Gordhan may have to throw in the towel – analyst

Aug 24 2016 12:32
Paul Herman, News24

Cape Town - A political economy analyst said on Wednesday Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan may have to give up in his fight against the Hawks, saying the embattled treasury head can only push against his own party for so long.

Gordhan and other former SA Revenue Service officials must meet the Hawks on Thursday to receive a letter of warning (which precedes an official charge) regarding an investigation unit set up when Gordhan was Sars commissioner from 1999 to 2009.

More on Gordhan:

Rand takes beating as Gordhan drama deepens

Open letter to President Jacob Zuma: Hands off Gordhan

FULL STATEMENT: Why Gordhan won't meet the Hawks

Ralph Mathekga, head of political economy at Mapungubwe Institute of Strategic Reflections, said at a panel discussion in Cape Town that Gordhan’s ordeal was more a ploy to intimidate him.

“Those who are allegedly trying to ‘capture’ the treasury, to use the word, it will be too hasty to go to prosecution without getting a proper reason to,” he said on Wednesday.

“When political parties involve the judiciary, history has shown they deal strongly with irrational decisions.

“We have a situation now where Gordhan is actually being harassed more than anything else.

“They tell us he may be prosecuted, he may not be. He’s in this state of limbo.

“I think the intention is to keep him trembling. Bring him in, ask him how he is doing, and say ‘we have three more questions for you’.

“At the end of the day, he may have to give up, because you can't push against your own party for too long.”

READ: 12 ways Gordhan reacted to the relentless Hawks onslaught

Media personality Stephen Grootes, former DA leade

Media personality Stephen Grootes, former DA leader Tony Leon and political economy analyst Ralph Mathekga at a local elections  round table discussion in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

Dismembering him ‘limb by limb’

Media personality Stephen Grootes hosted the panel at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where he together with Mathekga and former DA leader Tony Leon discussed the results of the 2016 local elections.

Leon also weighed in on Gordhan’s trouble with the Hawks.

“I've known Pravin for a long time. He's not corrupt, he doesn't go into public service to enrich his friends, and like many communists, he’s adjusted himself to market-realities.

“He is intelligent and has been a decent finance minister.

“Whether or not his stays or goes, Sars are dismembering him, cutting him off limb by limb.”

Grootes added that Gordhan would probably have expected the Hawks' second attempt to question him about the so-called "rogue unit", having threatened to do so just before the local elections.

“The question we’re asking ourselves this morning is: what's Gordhan’s counter move?”

ALSO READ: Hawks move on Gordhan unravels all rand’s good work

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