28/08/2017 16:29 SAST | Updated 28/08/2017 17:11 SAST

Duduzane Zuma Says Pravin Gordhan Is Trying To 'Destroy Him' Over State Capture Allegations

The president's son has broken his silence, and challenged the former finance minister to take him to court.

Indian businessmen Ajay and Atul Gupta with business associate Duduzane Zuma.
Gallo Images via Getty Images
Indian businessmen Ajay and Atul Gupta with business associate Duduzane Zuma.

President Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane, has lashed out at former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, accusing him of "being in bed" with the banking sector and further slating his tenure in Cabinet.

In an open letter, sent to media houses on Monday, Duduzane challenged Gordhan to institute court proceedings against him -- saying that he is innocent until proven guilty.

The letter was signed off with Duduzane's email address, which HuffPost SA has found to be his personal account.

"Mr Gordhan, you were Finance Minister of this country for over six of the last eight years, yet take no responsibility for this country's economic performance in that time. It is always somebody else's fault," he said.

"While you were in charge at Treasury, starting in 2009, the South Africa economy flatlined, unemployment rose from 21% to 27% and national debt increased from 31% to a record 51%. These are the facts and history will judge you on them."

The president's son also accused Gordhan of running a campaign against him.

"You have used various state bodies such as the [Financial Intelligence Centre] and the Reserve Bank to try and destroy me and my business colleagues with no proof of misconduct. Yet you accuse us of state capture," he said.

"All of my bank accounts have been closed by your friends in the banking industry. Likely with your support. Anybody can see that you are in bed with them, rather than on the side of hard-working South African citizens."

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Duduzane has been widely implicated in a trove of leaked emails from within the Gupta business empire which point to him allegedly brokering relationships between the family and state officials. He also has numerous business interests which have a direct or indirect relation to the Gupta family.

Until this letter, Duduzane has remained mum on allegations of state capture.

"There were no conclusive findings in the state capture report. A Hawks investigation against me and Gupta family came up with no wrong doing. The ANC invited all whistle blowers to report against me and my business colleagues – which came up with nothing," he said, directing his message to Gordhan.

"You are a conspiracy theorist who failed as a Minister of this great country. You grandstand in Parliament and embarrass this country. Do you not think that the people of this country can see what you are doing?"

He challenged Gordhan to take him to court, saying that "people are innocent until proven guilty".

"I am selling my shares to be able to focus my time on clearing my name. At this point I would advise you to refrain from further public statements which could affect the current sales and my reputation," he said.

"I reserve my rights to pursue legal action for the harm you are causing."

Charges of treason, extortion, racketeering, fraud and forgery were laid against members of the Gupta family and Duduzane by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) at the Randburg police station earlier this month.

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Gordhan referred the matter to his lawyers and will not respond publicly at this stage, said his spokesperson.