South African anti-graft watchdog investigating Gordhan

South Africa’s anti-corruption watchdog on Thursday said it was investigating Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, a close ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa, for allegedly abusing his powers during his time as finance minister.

The watchdog said it was looking into allegations that the former Finance minister, wrongly approving an early retirement package for a senior tax official at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in 2010 before allowing him to be re-employed at the agency on a contract basis.

Gordhan has said in the past that the early retirement of Pillay was entirely above board.

Gordhan is currently leading efforts to shore up the country’s debt-ridden state-owned companies, which have been hobbled by years of mismanagement.

The Public Protector, an organisation mandated by the constitution to uphold standards in public office, said the investigation had started in 2016 but had now reached a stage where it was ready to conduct interviews.

“The Public Protector subpoenaed and is investigating allegations of impropriety against Minister Gordhan,” said Oupa Segalwe, a spokesman for the Public Protector.

South African anti-graft watchdog investigating Ramaphosa ally Pravin Gordhan— The EastAfrican (@The_EastAfrican) November 8, 2018

The inquiry will review allegations that the three Gupta brothers unduly influenced Zuma over political appointments and winning government contracts. Both Zuma and the Gupta brothers deny wrongdoing.