Gordhan should not use taxpayer money for any ill-advised legal action against Parliament

Issued by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
31 Mar 2024 in News

Note to Editors: Find attached a soundbite from DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, should not use taxpayer money to mount any legal action against Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises (the Committee) because he chose to keep details of the doomed SAA/Takatso deal secret from the public as well as from Parliament, National Treasury and the Office of the Auditor General.

In a letter marked “CONFIDENTIAL” and emailed to the Committee on Wednesday morning, Gordhan threatened that should the Committee “adopt and publish” the report on the alleged irregularities in relation to the deal, the Department of Public Enterprises will take the report on judicial review.

This threatening letter, together with Gordhan’s persistent insistence on keeping the terms and conditions of the now cancelled deal secret, further demonstrate that Gordhan has little or no respect or regard for the legislative oversight role of Parliament conferred on it by Chapter 4 of the Constitution.

Gordhan (in his capacity as the Minister of Public Enterprises) and the Department account to one body only and that body is the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises. The Committee never has and never will account to Gordhan. As such, his threats of impending legal action against the Committee, undermine and demean the legislative authority and standing of the Committee as an extension of Parliament.

In any case, by the time that the report is taken on judicial review, Gordhan is unlikely to still be in public office following his announcement earlier this month that he will be resigning from government at the end of the current administration, so it is unclear in what capacity he will be mounting this ill-advised and doomed legal action against Parliament.

If, indeed, Gordhan has nothing to hide and the deal that he and his Department negotiated with the Takatso Consortium was above board, then he has absolutely nothing to worry about and should stop making threats against the Committee and permit the SIU to investigate this now defunct deal.

Now that the Committee has adopted the report, the DA looks forward to the report being adopted by Parliament and becoming a report of Parliament.