Pravin Gordhan. Picture: MIKE HUTCHINGS
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: MIKE HUTCHINGS

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan used his closing remarks at the state-capture inquiry on Wednesday to address the attacks against his daughter, Anisha.

This comes after the EFF alleged that she was a director of a number of companies that have benefited from government tenders, because of her relationship with the minister.

The party has been leading an attack against Gordhan, and is calling for him to be removed as a minister.

On Wednesday, Gordhan reiterated that those who are attacking him should come forward and give evidence under oath.  However, he said that attacking anyone’s family was unacceptable. He told the inquiry the allegations that Anisha was using her relationship with him to get access to government tenders to benefit those companies was a “blatant lie”.

He said these are “dangerous and unfounded” allegations, which were being used to intimidate and harass his family and himself.  He told the commission that his daughter joined Investec Bank’s private equity division in 2007 and resigned in late 2017. Most financial service institutions invested capital in emerging,  privately owned businesses.

He said Investec’s private equity division held companies on behalf of Investec Bank, and so the bank was the owner of the shares of these private businesses — and not his daughter. Anisha was part of the private equity team appointed as non-executive directors to the boards of these companies as a representative of Investec, as the owner of the shares.

“She did not benefit financially in any way. She did not own any shares in these businesses directly and did not benefit from any director fees ... or other financial compensation from these companies,” Gordhan said. “She was not a member of the management or executive teams of these businesses.”

Gordhan said none of the directorships his daughter held were in her personal capacity. “My daughter has not done any business with the state.”

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan concluded his testimony at the state capture commission on November 21 2018.

There were also allegations that Gordhan’s daughter had bank accounts in Canada, which the minister denied, saying she had no financial interests in Canada. Gordhan said his daughter had gone to Canada to complete a banking course at some stage. He also said he had no financial interests in Canada, as was alleged.

Gordhan concluded by saying, “Let’s not play the man, but the ball. If there are political objectives that anybody wants to achieve ... come to me and direct your attention to me and I will answer for whatever I have to answer for. Don’t use vulnerable targets.”

Gordhan told commission chair judge Raymond Zondo that these types of attacks on people and their families could make people hesitant to appear before the inquiry and give evidence.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za