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7 Pravin Gordhan Quotes On Values, Culture, Democracy And More

The embattled finance minister sheds light on some deeply pertinent issues.

29/03/2017 15:09 SAST | Updated 29/03/2017 18:41 SAST
REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Embattled Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is in the midst of what has been called a "proxy war" with President Zuma which reached its peak on Wednesday. Earlier this week Huffington Post South Africa published an exclusive interview with the minister. Ahead of Wednesday's Cabinet meeting and rumours of a possible Cabinet reshuffle, here are our top picks of quotes from what the minister had to say.

1. On values and culture

According to sources with intimate knowledge of National Treasury's tactics, Gordhan knows Zuma wants to get rid of both him and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. They, along with their senior staff, have, however, decided "not to walk away from this battle". Gordhan speaks of how culture and values are institutions in and of themselves, which guide the ways in which formal institutions operate.

2. On leadership

Rumours that Zuma was about to reshuffle his Cabinet, specifically removing Gordhan from his post, have being doing the rounds for well over a year. Curious charges hung over Gordhan's head for months, until they were finally dropped in October last year, leading to rumours that the charges were trumped up to be used by Zuma as a premise for sacking the finance minister. Through all of this, Gordhan has learnt many things and offers some insights on how institutions are led.

3. On the limitations of state powers

In September last year, the Presidency issued a statement denying that a Cabinet reshuffle was imminent. This was prompted by a list of possible Cabinet appointments that circulated on social media. The list made no mention of the finance ministry, but speculated that, amongst other appointments, Des van Rooyen would take over the Ministry of Economic Development. MP Pule Mabe was rumoured to be going to become deputy to Lindiwe Zulu at the Small Business Development Department. There were also rumours that Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom would lose his job after he and other ministers called on Zuma to step down in November last year during a heated NEC meeting. Hanekom later said the rumours did not bother him. Gordhan speaks of the necessity of the democratic fundamental of the "separation of powers".

4. On the assault on the Treasury

Gordhan and Treasury have been harassed, harangued and hassled ever since he made his return to 40 Church Square — Treasury's headquarters in Pretoria — after Zuma's disastrous removal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in December 2015.

5. On banks and foul play

The wealthy, influential and connected Gupta family, who own several companies involved in dodgy deals involving the president, had several of their ties with four of the country's big banks cut between December 2015 and April 2016.

6. On courts and the law

Earlier this week, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard an application by Gordhan to order the Gupta family to back off from National Treasury.

7. On SARS and its relationship to the Treasury

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