Pravin Gordhan rejects Iqbal Surve's claims - Attorney

Minister has no oversight over the FSCA and could not possibly have directed its operations


1 Several media enquiries have been addressed to the Ministry of Public Enterprises about the malicious, yet nonsensical utterances of Mr Iqbal Surve, the Chairman of Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, directed at our client, following a search and seizure operation by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) at his company’s offices yesterday, arising from an order of the High Court.

2 Our client, Min. Pravin Gordhan, has requested us to respond on his behalf, as follows—

2.1 Mr Surve has launched unsubstantiated attacks on our client without any evidence or facts. He also attacked the judiciary.

2.2 The Chief Justice has invited those who make these kinds of allegations against judges to come forward with evidence to prove any impropriety on the part of judicial officers. Mr Surve is invited to produce proof of allegations he has made about the two Judges, including that one refused to grant the FSCA a warrant and that another Judge who granted the warrant, did so because he has a relationship with our client.

2.3 Distraction and deflections have become a reflexive response by those who are under suspicion of one or other kind of misdemeanours.

2.4 Our client has no oversight over the FSCA and could not possibly have directed its operations, including on whom the FSCA must conduct inspections.

2.5 What the South African public knows is that Mr Surve and his business entities have been the subject of the Mpati Commission of Inquiry. The attempt at deflecting attention from this, by making false and defamatory allegations against Min. Gordhan and others, will not assist him and others in being held accountable for possible transgressions of the law.

3 The focus of our client will steadfastly remain to stabilise the key institutions of the state that have been severely damaged by state capture and corruption. These are state-owned companies that provide electricity to our people and businesses, rail and port facilities to commercial traders and key economic infrastructure to our country.

4 Our client will not be distracted from this important mandate, notwithstanding the “fightback” campaign.

Yours faithfully,