Hawks: Gordhan isn’t above the law

The Hawks accused the minister of believing he is deserving of preferential treatment.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks have openly accused Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan of believing he is above the law and deserving of preferential treatment.

In a hard-hitting statement released this afternoon, the elite police unit described as "disturbing" Gordhan's claim that he was unaware of the latest deadline given to him in relation to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) investigation.

Gordhan has challenged the Hawks to explain what law he has been accused of breaking and says his efforts to prevent South Africa's economy from being downgraded is his top priority.

The latest statement shatters any expectations that the tension between the Hawks and Gordhan are de-escalating.

The Hawks say their investigation into a controversial unit within Sars will not be stalled by "an individual who refuses to comply with the authorities and demands preferential treatment".

A sentence saying that the Hawks' legal team is "forging the way forward" is left open to interpretation.

Gordhan said he will deal with the police's questions, but he had to prepare the 2016 budget and then left on an international roadshow to try and calm investor fears as South Africa hovers on the brink of an economic downgrade.

Click here for the Hawks' full statement.