Hawks: We’re investigating Sars, not Gordhan

The Hawks says they sent questions to Gordhan because they thought he was a suitable man to talk to.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks say they want to set the record straight and that they are not investigating Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, but rather the case around a so-called rogue unit within the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

The unit says they sent questions to Gordhan only because they thought he was a suitable man to talk to as he headed Sars when the unit was set up.

Last week, Gordhan said the question were sent to him just before he presented his budget in a bid to intimidate him, but the Presidency says there's no plot against him.

In a statement, the office of national Hawks, Head Berning Ntlemeza, says it can confirm it's investigating a case concerning the alleged illegal operations by a so-called rogue unit within Sars and not Gordhan per se.

It then says Gordhan was Sars commissioner when the unit was established and thus, as part of its investigations, they thought he was a suitable person to talk to, hence they sent him questions to answer.

The Hawks also says that they do not conduct their investigations through the media.

The unit says it's not in the interests of justice when matters under investigation are blown out of proportion, which means certain individuals are victimised.

'NO WAR'

The Presidency has said that there is no war between Gordhan and President Jacob Zuma and that there is no 'war at Sars', between Gordhan and Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane.

It also says the difficulty in the relationship between Gordhan and Moyane is being dealt with through the correct legal channels.

Last week, African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said Gordhan had been the victim of a bid to destabilise the country after the Hawks' questions to Gordhan.

The Presidency says the media has incorrectly reported that there is a war at Sars and the president and the finance minister are somehow at war.

It says that is total fabrication and mischievous sensationalism.

The Presidency also says it has noted insinuations that Gordian's position could be in jeopardy, before saying any suggestion, his position is under threat is dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

It also says the president began talks with Gordhan and Moyane on their relationship before the State of the Nation Address and last weeks' Budget speech.