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EFF refuses to retract statement on Trevor Manuel over Kieswetter appointment

EWN has seen a legal reply in which the EFF turns the tables on Trevor Manuel, demanding that he explain his association with Edward Kieswetter.

FILE: Former finance minister Trevor Manuel at the home of the late anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has refused to retract its statement accusing former finance minister Trevor Manuel of a conflict of interest in the appointment of new South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

While Manuel had given the party until Monday to apologise, Eyewitness News has seen a legal reply in which the EFF turns the tables on Manuel, demanding that he explain his association with Kieswetter.

Last month, the party issued a statement just hours ahead of the announcement of the new Sars commissioner describing his appointment process as "corrupt".

Manuel chaired the panel that shortlisted and interviewed candidates for the position.

The EFF said it was not enough that Manuel recused himself from the interview process for the new Sars commissioner due to his “friendly relationship” with Kieswetter.

In the letter to Manuel, the red berets said he must explain the nature of this relationship and they want him to specify whether he has any financial ties or obligations to the commissioner himself, or through their respective families.

The EFF also wants Manuel to provide information that was relied on to determine that Kieswetter was the strongest candidate during the process.

The letter concludes with the party saying it intended to “vigorously” defend any action instituted by the former finance minister as a result of the EFF’s refusal to apologise.

Manuel recently wrote to the party demanding an apology over its statements around his role in the appointment of Kieswetter.

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