‘Leave my daughter out of it’ — Gordhan

Referring to “attacks” on his daughter in the wake of his testimony before the commission, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan denied allegations that she amassed millions of rands through state tenders. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

Referring to “attacks” on his daughter in the wake of his testimony before the commission, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan denied allegations that she amassed millions of rands through state tenders. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

Anisha Gordhan did not benefit in any way from government tenders Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday.

Referring to “attacks” on his daughter in the wake of his testimony before the commission, Gordhan denied allegations that she amassed millions of rands through state tenders.

The allegations were levelled by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in a statement released on Tuesday.

“The EFF will expose all the dealings of Anisha Gordhan, and demonstrate that like Duduzane Zuma, she used her father’s proximity to score state tenders, except she did not work with the Guptas, she worked with those who benefited from apartheid,” the statement reads.

Gordhan described the allegations as a “blatant lie”, adding: “My daughter has not done business with the state,” he said.

In his closing remarks before commission on Wednesday, Gordhan said none of the directorships his daughter held were in her personal capacity, but on behalf of her employer. She was employed by Investec between 2007 and 2017.

Gordhan decried this attack on his family, imploring his critics not to choose “vulnerable targets” but to engage with him directly.

“If there are political objectives that anyone wants to achieve, well come to me and direct your attention to me and I will answer for anything that I will have to answer for,” he said.

Gordhan reiterated sentiments he expressed on Tuesday, asking his critics to present themselves before the commission under oath.

The EFF has staged pickets outside the commission during all three days of Gordhan’s testimony.

On Tuesday, party leader Julius Malema drew a large crowd, delivering a speech lambasting Gordhan, President Cyril Ramaphosa, members of the commission and the media, for seemingly contributing to a narrative that there has been a cleanup campaign within the ANC.

READ MORE: Malema hits out at journalists

“Pravin is a fruit from the same rotten bunch. Why do you say ANC is corrupt but you say Pravin is not?” Malema said to an approving crowd.

During the speech, Malema detailed the party’s allegations against Aisha Gordhan.

“Pravin Gordhan’s daughter has ten companies and we have asked the ministers which she has contracts with to confirm, and only three of those ministers have confirmed. Today, Pravin’s daughter is resigning from those companies as a director,” he said.

During his closing remarks, Gordhan spoke about what he called a “fight-back phenomenon”, which he said has perpetuated attacks on him personally and on the commission.

He suggested that new alliances are being formed in preparation for the upcoming 2019 elections. These alliances are founded on the idea that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”, Gordhan said.

Gordhan referred to Ramaphosa’s remarks on state capture, in which he said those responsible should be brought to account.

Before ending, Gordhan said: “Part of what is going on it the descent to racism that we are seeing unfolding in this country, as a cheap political mechanism to launch attacks.”

Sarah Smit

Sarah Smit

Sarah Smit both subs and writes for the Mail & Guardian. She joined the M&G after completing her master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Cape Town. She is interested in the literature of the contemporary black diaspora and its intersection with queer aesthetics of solidarity. Her recent work considers the connections between South African literary history and literature from the rest of the Continent. Read more from Sarah Smit

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