Who’s fooling whom?

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Tracey Adams - African News Agency

Watching the testimony of Pravin Gordhan unfold at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Monday, albeit in its very early stages, it is little wonder that the likes of the EFF turned up in Parktown to protest against his testimony.

The EFF has the knife out for Mr Gordhan because, it insists, he is engaged in a witch-hunt, and is purging those in state-owned enterprises who disagree with him.

He also stands accused by the EFF, of having been appointed Finance Minister by then President Jacob Zuma, at the behest of the Gupta brothers.

The EFF is headed by Julius Malema, the former president of the ANC Youth League, and at the time, an ardent supporter of Mr Zuma.

The Academic and Professional Staff Association (APSA), has demanded that evidence leader, Paul Pretorius, recuse himself from proceedings, because he had in the past represented SARS executive, Adrian Lackay, in a legal matter.

APSA is an affiliate of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), which is headed by none other than Zwelinzima Vavi, former general secretary of Cosatu, during which time, he too was an ardent supporter of Mr Zuma.

Zapiro’s “Rape of Lady Justice” cartoon, for which he got into some pretty hot water, featured these two luminaries, along with other Tri-Partite Alliance leaders, aiding Mr Zuma in his alleged endeavour.

It is also worth remembering that Messers Malema and Vavi said on multiple public platforms, they were “prepared to kill for Zuma, prepared to die for Zuma”.

That they were purged from Mr Zuma’s WhatsApp group a long time ago, does not detract from the fact that they were both members of an exclusive inner circle for some time.

The other organisation protesting against Mr Gordhan appearing before the commission, is that anachronism, birthed by the monster of state capture, by Bell Pottinger out of the Gupta family, none other than Andile Mngxitama’s Black First Land First (BLF) which insists that he is an agent of white monopoly capital. Mr Mngxitama, we must remember, was a card-carrying member of the EFF, until he clashed publicly with Mr Malema, after which he was suspended from the EFF, and finally expelled in April 2015.

Funny that. All three of them – Mr Malema, Mr Vavi, Mr Mngxitama – were expelled from their former political homes.

So, what is it that each of these organisations is so terribly afraid of that Mr Gordhan might say, under oath, in his testimony before the commission?

His statement to the commission was leaked to the press, before he got to appear, so its content, as explosive as it is, is a matter of public record.

But aside from what Mr Gordhan will share while under oath as he is guided through his statement to the commission by evidence leader, Paul Pretorius, what is likely to emerge in response to questions that will be forthcoming from Mr Pretorius and commission chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo?

Mr Gordhan is as credible a witness as was Mcebisi Jonas, Nhlanhla Nene, and most recently, Barbara Hogan.

There are inevitably forces at work both within and outside the ANC, who were active participants in the state capture project.

The last thing they can afford is to be hauled out into the light and placed under the commission’s microscope.

Ergo, the misdirection, gaslighting, smokescreens, and sleight of hand we see emerging, as the damning evidence unfolds.