I'm addressing Gordhan, Sars spat, says Zuma

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Rogan Ward/Reuters

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Rogan Ward/Reuters

President Jacob Zuma on Thursday reiterated that he had intervened in the spat between SA Revenue Services commissioner Tom Moyane and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to help resolve it.

He volunteered this information in the National Assembly after Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald wanted to know why he was not doing anything to remove what could be a stumbling block to potential investors.

Zuma told Groenewald he was asking the wrong question by asking why he had not intervened.

“Does he know that? He doesn’t,” said Zuma. “I am intervening on that question. I am dealing with it on a presidential level.

“I have met the minister and the commissioner and I am addressing the issue, so it is being attended to by the president and the necessary structures.” 

Earlier in March, the Cabinet said Zuma was trying to help resolve the tension between the two after an apparent breakdown in their relationship.

Reports that Sars had a secret unit spying on tobacco companies, and possibly even high profile business people and politicians’ tax affairs, have evolved to the Hawks sending 27 questions to Gordhan relating to his time as commissioner of Sars. 

Gordhan has only been back in the position of finance minister since December when Nhlanhla Nene was suddenly removed and replaced by backbencher Des van Rooyen. Van Rooyen’s appointment was met with outrage by some quarters and Gordhan took over when Van Rooyen was sent to the cooperative goverance and traditional affairs ministry. But no sooner had Gordhan settled in, then the Hawks questions arrived.
He was preparing his Budget speech at the time and was also trying to assure investors getting worried about South Africa as an investment destination while world markets were shaky. - News24

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