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Gordhan mum on whether Guptas are being investigated

The Finance Minister says legislation prevents him from disclosing if someone is being investigated.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordha n says he's barred by the law from disclosing whether or not members of the Gupta family are under investigation for allegedly illegally removing assets from South Africa.

Gordhan was speaking in the National Assembly during debate on the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill.

The bill contains measures aimed at more effectively combating financial crimes such as money-laundering and funding international terrorism. It provides for increased scrutiny of "prominent influential persons".

The Democratic Alliance's David Maynier today again pressed the minister for an answer as to whether members of the Gupta family are under investigation.

"A simple yes or no will stop the bleeding and stop the zig-zagging and the obfuscation surrounding the Financial Intelligence Centre and my request for an investigation into the allegations surrounding the Guptas. A simply yes or no, Minister, will suffice."

But Gordhan says that under current legislation, neither he nor the director of the Financial Intelligence Centre, Murray Michel, are allowed to say whether or not someone is being investigated.

"So it's unfair for you to throw the accusation of obfuscation. Nobody is obfuscating."

Gordhan told Members of Parliament, however, that he and the entities reporting to him would do what was required "without fear or favour".

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