Gordhan forced to divulge documents about SAA/Takatso deal

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The portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises will subpoena Minister Pravin Gordhan to force him to divulge documents about the sale of 51% stake of SAA to Takatso Consortium. This is after Gordhan failed to provide the committee with these documents citing a confidentiality clause.

The committee received legal advice on how it can approach this matter going forward.

The committee wants documents about shortlisted bidders as well as share sale and purchase agreements.

This is after former Director General Kgathatso Tlhakudi alleged that Takatso Consortium was not amongst the shortlisted bidders. He added that it didn’t have the financial and technical capacity, but Gordhan has maintained that Takatso was the best deal.

“This transaction is shrouded in secrecy, chairperson, and of course, one version being we have the version of the former DG in so far as what could be contained in the documents which the minister is reluctant to share with the committee,” says Adv Andile Tetyana, Parliamentary Legal Advisor.

The committee has been investigating these allegations for over a year. But to date, it says, it doesn’t have unqualified support on the process of the transaction.

“We have seen a minister who has arrogance that I can’t explain and a minister that has treated this committee with disdain,” says Mfakazeleni Buthelezi, IFP MP.

Some members propose the establishment of an Ad Hoc committee to investigate the Takatso deal.

However, some felt that it must first exhaust all its constitutional powers.

“Subpoena the minister! While we have to continue to subpoena the minister, we cannot just go to an Ad Hoc committee without having gone that route,” says Khaya Magaxa, Chairperson: Public Enterprises Committee.

In terms of the Powers, Privilege’s and Immunities Act, if after the summons the committee still doesn’t get the required documents, that would amount to an offence for which Gordhan could be fined or imprisoned for up to 12 months or both.