Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will not present himself‚ as requested by the Hawks on Thursday‚ citing legal reasons and other commitments.

Pravin GordhanGordhan to snub Hawks summons

“(I) do not intend to present myself for a warning statement for many considerations‚ both legal and given my other commitments. I remain committed to assist the Hawks in any bonafide investigation as stated in my statement‚” Gordhan said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I have a job to do in a difficult economic environment and serve South Africa as best I can. Let me do my job‚” he said.

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After receiving advice from his attorneys‚ he was advised that he was not obliged to attend the meeting – Gordan confirmed that the Hawks wrote to him requesting that he present himself for a “warning statement” on Thursday‚ regarding the unit’s investigation into the allegations of a covert unit at the SA Revenue Service during his tenure as commissioner.

“I am advised by my legal team that the assertions of law made by the Hawks in their letter of 21 August 2016 are wholly unfounded on any version of the facts‚” he said in his statement on Wednesday.

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“There are two matters raised by the Hawks and these are contravention of the National Strategic Intelligence Act‚ 39 of 1994 as well as Sections 34 and 81 (2) of the Public Finance Management Act‚ 1 of 1999.”

Gordhan received a letter from the Hawks on Monday‚ demanding that he present himself to provide the unit with a warning statement — implying that he is a suspect and that he could be arrested.

Gordhan has maintained that the setting up of the alleged covert unit at SARS was above board and had ministerial approval.

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In a further indication that knives are out for Gordhan‚ SARS has also launched an investigation into IT contracts as part of the “modernisation project” awarded during Gordhan’s tenure as SARS commissioner.

The revenue service has asked accounting firm Grant Thornton to conduct an audit of the contracts.

Shortly after the news broke on Tuesday‚ the rand fell sharply against the dollar‚ from R13.4547/$ in mid-afternoon trade to R13‚6978/$ at 6pm‚ about 0.8% lower on the day.

Statement by Gordhan

Times Live


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