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We believe in Gordhan, says ANC

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The ANC in Parliament has stopped short of fully backing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his battle with the Hawks.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said on Thursday that the ANC caucus supported Gordhan, just like it did other ministers in the cabinet.

On Thursday, the SACP became the ANC’s first alliance partner to come out in support of Gordhan.

This comes as the National Treasury said it would be able to determine the costs for Nkandla by the end of next month.

Gordhan is embroiled in a battle with the Hawks over its threats to arrest him with regard to his time at the South African Revenue Service seven years ago.

The Treasury confirmed on Thursday that it would complete its financial assessment of the Nkandla project by the end of next month.

This is line with the directive of the Constitutional Court, to determine the costs Zuma has to pay.

The Treasury said it had concluded certain steps in the matter and would be able to give the Constitutional Court its report by the stipulated date – June 28.

The SACP this week said Hawks head Lieutenant-General Berning Ntlemeza was politically motivated in attempting to arrest the finance minister.

But the Hawks hit back and told the SACP to produce evidence to back up the allegations.

Mthembu said the ANC valued the work Gordhan had done in steering the country and Treasury in the right direction and helping to avoid a downgrade by rating agencies.

“We respect and trust all our ministers without exception, including Pravin Gordhan,” said Mthembu.

He commended him for the sterling work he had done in assuring investors across the globe of South Africa’s prudent financial management and political stability.

Mthembu said Gordhan and Zuma had met investors to assure them that there were many opportunities to invest in South Africa.

Gordhan had also met rating agencies in an effort to avoid a downgrade.

The ANC in Parliament believed in his ability to deliver.

“We don’t appoint ministers in Parliament, but we have every reason to believe in the judgment of Pravin Gordhan,” Mthembu said.

He described Gordhan as an astute minister who has depth of knowledge for his work.

Early this week, the minister called on South Africans to protect the Treasury against state capture.

In Parliament this week, he urged the country to rally around any potential threat of a downgrade.

This was in light of the visit of officials from rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, who are currently conducting a review.

Their assessment was expected to be concluded today, and the outcome known in the first week of June.

South Africa avoided a downgrade by Moody’s last month, but economists warned that we are not yet out of the woods.

The assessment of S&P and Fitch could also determine whether South Africa is downgraded.

Mthembu said the work Gordhan had done, in travelling the world to drum up support for investment for the country, was commendable.

[Source: Political Bureau]
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