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Gordhan may consider legal steps against Bongo’s ‘defamatory claims’

On Thursday, Bongani Bongo claimed Minister Pravin Gordhan had a hand in his arrest during an interview with eNCA.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan may consider steps against African National Congress (ANC) MP Bongani Bongo who's accused of corruption.

On Thursday, Bongo claimed Gordhan had a hand in his arrest during an interview with eNCA.

The former state security minister was released on R5,000 bail on Thursday in connection with an attempt to bribe a senior official of Parliament's inquiry into state capture at Eskom.

In an interview with eNCA, Bongo also intimated Gordhan played a part in him being poisoned, which saw him seek treatment in Cuba.

But Gordhan’s spokesperson Sam Mkokeli has dismissed Bongo’s allegations: “The minister finds the whole thing ridiculous and foolish. The minister feels that Mr Bongo is hallucinating.”

Mkokeli said the minister would consider his legal options, but wanted to focus on more burning issues affecting the country.

He said the minister was still undecided on what to do about Bongo’s accusations.

“The minister will consider his options around that defamatory statement but at this stage, he is very very busy working to attract investors to South Africa, he is also leading the turnaround of SOEs, which are a burden to the taxpayer.”

Should he go the legal route, it would not be the first time Gordhan takes another politician to court for their utterances.

In November last year, he laid criminal charges against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema after the latter labelled him a “dog of white monopoly capital,” a case which was later dismissed by the court.