Pravin Gordhan

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Pravin Gordhan
Pravin Gordhan 2015.jpg
Minister of Public Enterprises
Assumed office
28 February 2018
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Preceded by Lynne Brown
Minister of Finance
In office
14 December 2015 – 31 March 2017
President Jacob Zuma
Deputy Mcebisi Jonas
Preceded by David van Rooyen
Succeeded by Malusi Gigaba
In office
11 May 2009 – 25 May 2014
President Jacob Zuma
Preceded by Trevor Manuel
Succeeded by Nhlanhla Nene
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
In office
25 May 2014 – 14 December 2015
President Jacob Zuma
Preceded by Lechesa Tsenoli
Succeeded by David van Rooyen
Personal details
Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan

(1949-04-12) 12 April 1949 (age 69)
Durban, South Africa
Political party Communist Party (Before 2009)
African National Congress (2009–present)[1]
Alma mater University of Durban-Westville

Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan (born 12 April 1949) is a South African politician who served as Minister of Finance from 2009 until 2014 and again from 2015 until 2017, and as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs from 2014 until 2015.[2] Jacob Zuma replaced Gordhan on 30 March 2017, during a controversial cabinet reshuffle but was ultimately re-instated into the Cabinet of Cyril Ramaphosa as Minister of Public Enterprises during the Cabinet reshuffle in February 2018.

Early years

Pravin Gordhan was born in Durban, and matriculated from Sastri College in 1967. In 1973 he graduated from the University of Durban-Westville with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree. Gordhan became associated with members of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) In 1971 and was elected to its executive council in 1974.

During the 1970s, Gordhan helped establish grassroots organisations that became involved in underground activities and associated with the African National Congress (ANC) and later the South African Communist Party (SACP). He completed his pharmacy internship at King Edward VIII Hospital In 1974 and worked there until 1981 when the Natal Provincial Administration dismissed him for his political activities while he was in detention. He was released from jail in 1982 and received banning orders effective until June 1983. Gordhan attended the launch of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Cape Town 1983 where the also NIC became an affiliated organisation.

Gordhan attended the preparatory meeting for the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) in 1991 as a joint NIC/Transvaal Indian Congress (TIC) representative, and was appointed NIC/TIC delegate to the steering committee responsible for organising Codesa 1. In 1993 he was appointed to the panel of chairpersons on the planning committee of the multi-party negotiation process.[3]


He was previously the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service from 1999 to 2009.[4] From 1991 and 1994, he chaired the Convention for a Democratic South Africa,[4] and he was the co-Chairman of the Transitional Executive Council, which prepared South Africa for the country's first non-racial election in April 1994.[5]

As a member of parliament from 1994 to 1998, Gordhan chaired the parliamentary committee that focused on the implementation of the new Constitution and the transformation of local government in the post-apartheid.[6]

Gordhan was chairman of the World Customs Organization in from 2000 to 2006.[4]

On 10 May 2009, President Jacob Zuma appointed Gordhan as Minister of Finance, succeeding Trevor Manuel.[7] On the 25 May 2014, he was replaced by Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance.[8]

In 2014, Gordhan was appointed as the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,[9] succeeding Lechesa Tsenoli who became Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa.[10]

On 14 December 2015, Gordhan was re-appointed as Minister of Finance, replacing David van Rooyen who had been minister for 4 days.[11]

In 2018, he was re-appointed to the Cabinet of President Cyril Ramaphosa as Minister of Public Enterprises, taking over from former Minister Lynne Brown. As such, Gordhan will oversee state-owned enterprises including the likes of Eskom, SAA, Denel and others.[12]

Controversies and Court Cases

Gordhan during the WEF 2012

On the eve of the 2016 Budget Speech, that was to be tabled on the 24th February 2016, a list of questions from the Hawks was sent to Pravin Gordhan. In total there were 27 questions around the alleged "rogue unit" at South African Revenue Service.[13] Mr Gordhan was the SARS commissioner in 2007, when the so-called rogue unit was set up. He has maintained that it was above board and had ministerial approval.[14] Many questioned the timing of the questions sent including Gwede Mantashe, the Secretary General of the African National Congress.[15] Pravin Gordhan himself was baffled by the questions, having the following to say "Once again, the Hawks and those who instruct them, have no regard for the economic and social welfare of millions".[14] He then sent a letter to the Hawks through his department that he would be unable to meet the deadline imposed. The letter from his office stated that "He will respond in due course, once he has properly examined the questions and ascertained what information, of the information you request, he is able to provide". He also wanted to know of what authority the Hawks are asking these questions of him.[16] On the 30th March 2016, he replied to the questions put to him by the Hawks.[17] Mr Gordhan was quoted as saying, “I believe this was meant to intimidate and distract us from the work we had to do in preparing the 2016 Budget".[18]

In October 2016, South Africa state prosecutor levied fraud charges against Gordhan for allowing a former colleague at the South African Revenue Service to take early retirement and then re-hiring them as a consultant. Charges were dropped few days later.[19]

In October 2016, Gordhan lodged an application in the North Gauteng High Court to rule that he may not interfere with the major banks' decision to close the Oakbay Investments accounts. In August 2017, the court ruled against his application deeming it unnecessary.[20]

In September 2017, International auditing firm KPMG abruptly withdrew all of its findings‚ recommendations and conclusions around its report into the South African Revenue Service (SARS) "rogue spy unit" which had implicated Gordhan. SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane disputed KPMG's withdrawal of the report withdrawal, calling it "unethical conduct", and claimed that the report is not flawed.[21][22]

Honours and awards

Honorary degrees


  1. ^ "Gordhan no longer SACP member". Fin24. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  2. ^ "Pravin Gordhan | Who's Who SA". Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  3. ^ "Gordhan, Pravin Jamnadas - The O'Malley Archives". Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  4. ^ a b c Bakker & Kloosterhof. Tax Risk Management. From risk to opportunity. IBFD. Amsterdam: 2010. 383f.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Leander (2013-09-26). "Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan". South African History Online. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  7. ^ "S.Africa's Zuma makes sweeping changes to cabinet", AFP, 10 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Zuma's chosen ministers and deputy ministers". News 24. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  9. ^ South Africa's Zuma replaces finance minister, again. Archived 20 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine. 2015-12-14.
  10. ^ Tsenoli, Lechesa Solomon. Archived 26 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. ANC Parliamentary Cuacus. Accessed 2015-12-18
  11. ^ Motsoeneng, Tiisetso (14 December 2015). "South Africa says no swearing in of new finance minister Gordhan". Reuters. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Pravin Gordhan back, this time as Minister of Public Enterprises". Media24. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  13. ^ "The 27 questions the Hawks sent to Gordhan". Fin24. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  14. ^ a b "Gordhan 'baffled' by timing and deadline of latest Hawks' letter". Business Day Live. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  15. ^ SABC. "SABC News - ANC questions timing of Hawks investigation into Gordhan:Friday 26 February 2016". Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  16. ^ "Gordhan hits back, asks Hawks to clarify Sars 'rogue unit' probe". Fin24. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  17. ^ "Gordhan answers Hawks' questions about SARS 'rogue unit'". Business Day Live. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  18. ^ "Gordhan slams 'distracting' Hawks letter". IOL. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  19. ^ Parkinson, Joe (October 31, 2016). "South African Rand Jumps After Fraud Charges Against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan Are Dropped". Retrieved October 14, 2017. (subscription required)
  20. ^ "Court rules against Gordhan's request for relief in Gupta bank matter". Fin24. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  21. ^ "KPMG cans SARS 'rogue unit' report‚ apologises to Gordhan". Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  22. ^ "Moyane reiterates he's not happy with KPMG 'rogue unit' probe". Fin24. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
Political offices
Preceded by
Trevor Manuel
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Nhlanhla Nene
Preceded by
Lechesa Tsenoli
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Succeeded by
David van Rooyen
Preceded by
David van Rooyen
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Malusi Gigaba
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