IOL has posted a piece from Floyd Shivambu’s blog about how Pravin Gordhan is apparently the head of a Cabal in government.
The bit that strikes me as interesting is when Shivambu gets to the rogue unit.
Fair disclosure, I worked for Tiso Blackstar for over a decade on the Times LIVE. Take that how you will, but this whole article is my take.
Anyway according to Shivambu the rogue unit was real, and the Sunday Times only withdrew their report on it because Gordhan is in power.
Here is the problem: While the original withdrawal occurred in 2016, that was due to a hostile finding by the press ombudsman. Shivambu wants to paint this as editorial kow-towing to the then finance minister, but you don’t require an ombudsman’s ruling for that to happen.
Not only that, but the story was undermined repeatedly since it came out. KPMG’s report was taken as corroboration for the story – only it was later revealed that the KPMG report was plagiarised from the report it was supposed to be verifying.
It was worthless, and KPMG retracted it.
Not only that but Retired Judge Frank Kroon has issued an apology to Gordhan for essentially relying on that KPMG report rather than doing what he was paid to do – an independent investigation.
So far the inquiry into the mess at SARS has been very public, and pretty damning with regards to the Rogue Unit allegations. It wouldn’t take a grand conspiracy involving mysterious cabals from the 1980s to discredit the report.
I have criticised Tom Moyane in the past for standing by a retracted report from KPMG, Shivambu is essentially standing by a retracted report from the Sunday Times.
Shivambu is trying to portray himself and his brother as being the victims of a political plot. This reminds me heavily of before Jacob Zuma became president, when he was fired by Thabo Mbeki and we got stories about how this was all a plot by Mbeki to get rid of a potential rival.
Julius Malema has since apologised for his role in spreading that story. It is a standard dodge in South African politics, and generally an important red flag as we learned from the disaster that was Zuma.