Bob’s Weekend News Wrap – #180WithBob – 29 August 2016
Pravin Gordhan is trying hard to stay off the headlines but he is failing dismally. The biggest question in this spy vs spy saga is, “is he guilty of any crime?” The City Press reports that Gordhan is being investigated by the Hawks for amongst other charges, unlawful spying through the setup of a SARS Intelligence Unit; granting of early retirement to Ivan Pillay, and his subsequent reappointment, the so called Sunday Evenings Project.
Ivan Pillay, Oupa Magashula and Johann Van Loggerenberg are regarded as suspects in this case and we do know that the three did meet with the Hawks this past week. Another person of interest in this case is Helgard Lombard who is said to have sought indemnity form prosecution by choosing to be state witness. Lombard is apparently the man who provided the actual tools for the illegal purposes of spying on unsuspecting business men such as Huang; a man who had donated 18 500 T-shirts to the ANC during the 2014 elections.
Fast forward to today, and the news is that the docket from the Hawks has now been handed to NPA head Shaun Abrahams, and he will be charging Gordhan in about two weeks’ time.
The Sunday Times has the Pravin Gordhan story on its front page as well, and the headline reads, “I”m prepared to die to save SA from the thieves.” In this case, dying is rather dramatic. All Gordhan has to do is lobby his communist friends and expose this saga for what it is. The report further states that Gordhan addressed staff at the Treasury to update them on his innocence stance. Flip to the next page and it becomes clear that this is a proxy war by one camp to capture SOEs and the other to save it. In the middle of it all is companies linked to the Guptas, who are in turn linked to the president and his son. Most or all Gupta companies’ contracts with Denel, ESKOM and Transnet are under investigation by authorities.
In another twist, the Guptas are said to be exiting South Africa and in the process, selling off all their SA linked businesses. This of course, I don’t buy. And watch this space as to who will be “buying” their companies or majority stakes.
I, on the other hand, will be looking forward to an invitation from Brian Molefe for the Guptas fake farewell party. Look forward to another interesting week and the free fall of our currency and subsequent junk status downgrade.
And in closing, congratulations are in order for SA film “The Suit”, which has been selected for a prestigious New York film festival – Urbanworld Film Festival, which lines it up for Oscar nomination. This film stars stage royalty in John and Atandwa Kani and was written as a play by the legend, Can Temba.