15 September 2016

South African economy destabilized by Gordhan row: deputy finance minister

sa-deputyA police investigation into South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is destabilizing the government and creating uncertainty across Africa’s most industrialized economy, deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas said on Tuesday.

Gordhan declined last month to obey a police summons linked to the inquiry into whether he had used a tax service unit to spy on politicians including President Jacob Zuma. Gordhan said he had done nothing wrong and his supporters have called the investigation a witch hunt.

South Africa’s rand ZAR=D3 has weakened around 3 percent since the news of an investigation into Gordhan emerged.

“It does destabilize, not only Treasury, it creates uncertainties across the economy,” Jonas told 702 Talk Radio.

“We feel confident there is no basis for the allegation. We are not worried about that.”

Jonas said he had met Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, an anti-corruption watchdog, as part of her inquiry into whether wealthy friends of Zuma, the Gupta family, have been influencing high-level political appointments.

Jonas earlier this year shook financial markets when he said the Guptas had offered him his boss’s job.

Zuma has said that the Guptas are his friends, but denied doing anything improper. The Guptas have also denied making job offers to anyone in government.




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