Fact Check: Do the facts support Malema’s charges against Pravin Gordhan?

Fact Check: Do the facts support Malema’s charges against Pravin Gordhan?

- The EFF has responded to Pravin Gordhan laying charges against them by adding charges of their own

- A recent investigation into the charges brought forward by Julius Malema found a number of inconsistencies

- Some of these inconsistencies included what appears to be a made-up account number at the Royal Bank of Canada where Malema claims Gordhan is illegally hiding funds

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The Economic Freedom Fighter’s have made headlines this week with their decision to lay their own charges against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

An investigation by News24 found some unexplained discrepancies with the charges laid against the minister, especially in connection with the alleged secret Canadian bank account.

The charge laid by the EFF leader read as follows:

“Racketeering and/or money laundering - Gordhan opened and operated, with corrupt intent, "an unlawful foreign bank account held in Canada. Royal Bank of Canada, Shebrook in Montreal, Account number 585425-91 and account holder R Jamandas Gordhan and the account balance is $48 756 292." Further, Gordhan's denials over his alleged "financial dealings" in Canada amount to perjury.”

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Upon closer inspection however one finds that the account number listed does not match the ones used by the bank in question. Simply googling the bank reveals that all Royal Bank of Canada accounts consists of 7 numbers.

Possessing an account at the bank also requires non-Canadian citizens to either be in the process of immigrating or to hold a work visa.

Pravin Gordhan has denied owning a Canadian bank account whilst appearing in front of the state capture commision as well as in a statement on Tuesday.

The charges brought forward by Malema also stated that:

The account holder is named R Jamandas Gordhan and the branch of the bank is in Shebrook, Montreal.

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A simple Google Map search revealed that not only was the correct spelling “Sherbrooke” but that Sherbrooke and Montreal were two different cities in the province of Quebec.

The full name of the minister is “ Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan” which was confirmed using third-party software.

Another claim made by Malema was:

Gordhan knowingly participated in the formation or an unauthorised and unlawful intelligence gathering unit of SARS (also known as the rogue unit) which the EFF draft charge sheet claims is in contravention of the "Intelligence Act".

The EFF plans to submit a discredited 2015 report by advocate Muzi Sikakhane SC on allegations against SARS relating to the formation of a “rogue unit”. The report had found that the formation of the unit had been unlawful, but had found nothing against Gordhan.

The report also recommended that a commision of inquiry were to look into the matter, which it did. The inquiry had also found the unit unlawful, however, Judge Frank Kroon has retracted this decision earlier this year and has said that the unit should be re-established.

"I have not yet found why the creation and existence of the unit was said to have been unlawful, which is how it was consistently and uncritically depicted. I find no reason why the establishment and existence of the unit was indeed unlawful, and I am supported in that opinion given to [SARS Commissioner Mr Tom] Moyane in late 2015." Judge Kroon said.

Another one of the charges made by Malema:

Gordhan lied under oath regarding the unlawful activities of his daughter, Anisha Gordhan. The EFF, under charges it outlines against Anisha, further add that she "participated in government business representing her father and/or his business associates (Investec).

The EFF has claimed that Anisha Gordhan was guilty of corruption based on their opinion that her company did business with the government amounting to millions of rands.

Briefly.co.za has already reported on a statement released by Investec where they had explained that Anisha had been appointed as a non-executive director of certain companies in order to oversee investments made by the bank. They confirmed that Anisha had not personally benefited from these positions and was merely doing her job on their behalf.

Some other claims made by Julius Malema included that Gordhan had participated in state capture as a member of the cabinet, but did not supply any evidence or details further than this.

He also claimed that the minister had lied under oath about his meetings with the Guptas. Pravin Gordhan had corrected himself on this matter in his sworn statement to the inquiry, saying that he had forgotten about a meeting in 2010 with an Indian businessman where Ajay Gupta had also been in attendance.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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