ANC backs Gordhan’s decision not to present himself to the Hawks
The African National Congress has backed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan after he declined to present himself to the Hawks who are investigating him with regards to a rogue unit that was established during his term of office at the South African Revenue Services.
This comes as Gordhan said last week he had done nothing wrong and had no legal obligation to obey a police summons in connection with a probe into whether he used a rogue unit set up when he was the SARS Commissioner from 1999 to 2009 to spy on politicians. The unit was established in 2007.
“The ANC reaffirms its unreserved confidence in the Finance Minister‚ Comrade Pravin Gordhan‚ and the work of the National Treasury. We do‚ however‚ caution them against taking the public posture that seems to isolate them from the rest of government‚” said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the party’s Luthuli House on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking after a meeting of its National Working Committee at which it deliberated about the dispute between the Hawks and Gordhan‚ the ANC said this matter should not be discussed in public and condemned its structures that have spoken about it.
On Monday‚ the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association said there was “nothing special” about Gordhan and therefore should obey the law and subject himself to questions from the Hawks.
“We are not saying Pravin Gordhan must be untouchable‚ what we are saying is that handling an issue of investigating Pravin Gordhan…it is unnatural to send 27 questions and come back further down the line [to] send another set of questions and say come to the head office‚ because if you do that‚ you are not going to do it as work‚ but you will also have an element of humiliating this minister‚” added Mantashe.
The secretary general however cautioned ministers to obey police summons issued during investigations. “The minister must cooperate with processes. If he has no case to answer he can only prove that through processes‚” Mantashe said.