31/03/2017 13:17 SAST | Updated 31/03/2017 14:46 SAST

Gordhan: 'The Allegations Sicken Me'

The axed minister of finance left National Treasury with a volley of parting shots aimed squarely at President Jacob Zuma and the Guptas. Here are his best quotes.

"It has been a great privilege for us to serve South Africa as minister and deputy minister respectively." — His opening line.

"So, why was it necessary to deploy me? It was necessary because of the blunders made on the 9th of December, when a good hardworking person, Nhlanhla Nene, who also occupied this chair, was told he no longer needed to occupy this chair." — On his appointment as minister of finance in December 2015.

"In the last 24 hours government bond yields went from 8,3 percent to 8,9 percent, which means as a government we are paying extra to borrow money. For example: today we wanted to raise R600-million from the issuance of government bonds and only R200-million was offered. There is concern about the economy." — On the economic realities of Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle.

"This is the mysterious text, this big text. This is the so-called intelligence report which says the two of us - the deputy minister and I - and the director general was involved in some massive conspiracy to undermine the economy. It is absolute nonsense. This is not the basis on which you "release" someone from their responsibilities . . ." — On the leaked "intelligence report" which Zuma used to justify his sacking.

"These allegations sicken me, allegations that I had secret meetings with somebody to undermine government. Both of us had been activists in the struggle from a young age, why would we now do something to undermine this government? It cannot be logically explained. Except of course analysts at a particular television station who manufacture stuff." — On his disgust about the allegations.

"We emphatically and categorically deny these allegations. It has undermined and discredited our integrity." — On the allegations in the "intelligence report".

"Treasury, the South African Revenue Service, the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Public Investment Corporation and other institutions are key, they are vital to our democracy and economy. All of us must make sure they have the right political leadership, the right administrative leadership so that they can perform on their mandate, according to the Constitution and in the national interest. We tried to do that . . . we have not compromised our integrity at all!" — On the path ahead.

"Institutions under the Treasury serves the South African public, not any narrow interest. We all commend the deputy minister that he refused an offer of a bag of cash. We emphasise: our souls are not for sale . . . not for sale. We hope more and more South Africans will make it clear our country is not for sale." — On the Guptas.

"They attacked us, maligned us, disgraced us. They certainly had a lot to say . . . where are they? Don't they have a question to ask? No, it's not unfair, do you want to be the subject of daily and nightly attacks?" — On the Guptas' news channel, ANN7.

"I will be guided by my conscience if that happens and I will hopefully do the right thing, whatever that might be. But come back in a short while and ask me the question again." — On a mooted parliamentary vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

"Trust by a political party must be earned, it is not a right. If we do wrong things, we lose trust, but there are many who want to ensure that the trust which the African National Congress have enjoyed for more than a hundred years is something we can regain in 2019 . . . but a lot of hard work needs to be done." — On the impact on the ANC.

"Thanks for the colleagues behind me for joining us." — When Zwelinzima Vavi, Sipho Pityana and other civil society leaders stood behind him.

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