Press Statement: Rumours of Finance Minister’s arrest are a disaster for SA (15.05.2016)
The arrest of the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, would be a disaster for South Africa. It would cause an economic earthquake and make “9/12” look like a minor economic tremor.
Rumours reported today suggest that the Minister may be arrested, together with eight other officials, to face charges relating to the SARS “rogue unit”.
However, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Luvuyo Mfaku, reportedly claimed no decision has been made to prosecute and that the matter remained under investigation.
The timing of the rumours could not be worse and will not only cause further turmoil in the markets, but also compromise efforts to avoid a ratings downgrade in South Africa.
What is worrying is that authorities are reportedly waiting for the “political go ahead”before ordering the arrest of the Minister, and eight other officials, to face charges relating to the SARS “rogue unit”.
This suggests that the investigation is politically motivated and part of President Jacob Zuma’s fight back campaign and attempt to neuter National Treasury.
The only option, with any hope of avoiding mutually assured destruction, is to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry, in terms of Section 84 of the Constitution, to investigate all the allegations surrounding the so-called SARS “rogue unit”.