- The Democratic Alliance claims that Pravin Gordhan has made an illegal move
- The opposition party says that the Public Enterprises Minister illegally authorised a payment of R1.5 billion
- This payment is allegedly intended for the SAA bailout, which has not yet been approved by Parliament
The Democratic Alliance has accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of taking the law into his own hands.
In a statement released on Friday, the opposition party claims that Gordhan authorised a R1.5 billion payment of the R10.5 billion bailout for South African Airways.
The taxpayer-funded bailout has not yet been approved by Parliament and the DA says the move reeks of desperation:
"It seems that commercial banks and other lenders have for once done the right thing and refused to provide bridge finance to SAA. Consequently, in desperation, Minister Gordhan has supposedly forced Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, to obtain legal advice that an amount of R3 billion of the R10.5 billion can “legally” be paid to SAA before the R10.5 billion is appropriated by Parliament."
The party insists that an 'ANC Minister' cannot simply decide to ignore the procedures in this regard:
"It cannot be that the sovereignty of Parliament to determine the appropriation of funds can simply be ignored and money spent at the whim of an ANC Minister."
The DA claims that it will be impossible to recover the steep sum from SAA, even if Parliament 'does the right thing' and fails to appropriate the 'immoral bailout'.
The statement concluded by reiterating its view that the payment is completely illegal and that the Ministers involved should be taken to task:
"The DA’s position is that any portion of the R10.5 billion bailout paid to SAA before the parliamentary appropriation process has been completed is illegal."
"We will insist that Ministers Mboweni and Gordhan be held personally accountable for any unauthorised and illegal advance payments to SAA."
In a statement released following the Minister's testimony at the State Capture Inquiry, the EFF commented that:
"The EFF calls for the immediate removal of the unethical and big-headed Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, for forming part of the establishment and existence of the SARS Rogue Unit."
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