Gordhan and Godongwana contradict each other over the sale of SAA to Takatso

Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan and Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana publicly contradicted the sale of 51% of the shares of South African Airways (SAA) to the Takatso Consortium.

The Takatso agreement of SAA

This is after National Treasury Director General Dondo Mogajane, in a letter to parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), said the department was not involved in selecting the private consortium to take over SAA.

This is despite Gordhan insisting that officials from both departments be part of the intense consultations regarding the Takatso transaction that was negotiated last year.

READ ALSO: SAA sale to the Takatso Consortium almost completed

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday called on Scopa President Mkhuleko Hlengwa to accept their request that Godongwana and Gordhan – as well as the general directors of both departments – be called to appear before the parliament’s financial oversight body for account for contradictions.

In a written reply to Scopa, dated April 7, 2022, Gordhan categorically denied Mogajane’s claim that the Treasury never played a role in Takatso’s selection.

“In a letter to Scopa, the National Treasury indicates that it was not involved in the selection process for the SEP (Strategic Equity Partner for SAA).

“The letter from the finance minister to the public enterprise minister above clearly contradicts this view,” District Attorney Gordhan said in his letter.

The selected quote apparently referred to a letter written by Godongwana on February 4, 2022. It was submitted by Gordhan in response to Scopa in support of his claim that the Treasury was involved in the Takatso deal.

PFMA requirement

According to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), competition from the finance minister is required when a state entity such as SAA disposes of a stake.

Gordhan disagreed that he was required by law to consult Godongwana because the divestiture of a majority stake in SAA had already been approved by the Cabinet.

The Takatso Consortium owns 51% of the national airline while the Department of Public Enterprises retains 49%.

‘Serious insults’

District Attorney MP and Scopa member Alf Lees said Gordhan’s letter to the committee appeared to confirm Mogajane’s statement that the Treasury was not involved in Takatso’s selection process.

He said the letter cast “very serious libel” on the integrity of the Treasury. He said it would likely have serious implications for South Africa in both domestic and international financial markets.

“This possible damage to the reputation of the National Treasury must be addressed promptly and publicly to establish the facts that will either establish that the National Treasury has been completely honest with Scopa or determine that urgent action is needed to restore the integrity and reputation of the Treasury. national team, “Lees said in a statements.

Lees said if it was Gordhan or Mogajane who misled Scopa, the “guilty party” would face serious consequences for disdaining Parliament.

Terms and conditions of the deal

Lees also expressed concern that the terms and conditions of the deal with Takatso remained secret.

“Pravin Gordhan’s most obvious omission is his complete inability to provide details on the terms and conditions contained in the agreements entered into by the Department of Public Enterprises with the Takatso consortium about which the National Treasury has concerns.”

He said Gordhan did not provide copies of the agreements made between his department and Takatso.

“This is a serious omission on Pravin Gordhan’s part that needs to be fully and publicly addressed by Scopa to ensure that no wrongdoing is involved in the agreements entered into between the Department of Public Enterprises and the Takatso consortium.

“It is essential to establish that the agreement is in the best interest of all South Africans and not just the selected beneficiaries of the Takatso consortium.”

Compiled by Thalelo Lekabe

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