Gordhan refuses to report to Hawks

Pravin Gordhan and former Sars officials have been asked to go to the police to provide warning statements.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has issued a statement saying he will not be presenting himself to the Hawks as requested.

Gordhan and three former South African Revenue Services (Sars) officials were asked to present themselves to police to provide warning statements.

The Hawks are investigating the nature and conduct of a disbanded Sars covert unit, which was established during Gordhan's tenure as Sars commissioner.

In the statement, he says, "I confirm that on 22 August 2016, my attorneys received a letter from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations ('the Hawks') requesting that I present myself at their offices on 25 August 2016, at 14h00 in order that a warning statement may be obtained from me. I am advised that I am under no legal obligation to present myself to the Hawks as directed in their letter. I have decided not to do so."

Minister Gordhan added, "I was advised in no uncertain terms by the Head of the Hawks General Ntlemeza that I am not a suspect in the Hawks' investigation. I have provided a comprehensive account of matters which the Hawks had raised in their 27 questions."

He says there is simply no case against him.

"I am advised by my legal team that the assertions of law made by the Hawks are wholly unfounded on any version of the facts."

Gordhan concludes by saying that he has a job to do in a difficult economic environment and asks to be allowed to do his job.

In the last hour, since the minister released his statement, the rand has extended losses to 1.5 percent to the dollar. At around 6pm, it was hovering around 14.24 to the dollar.

To read Gordhan's full statement, click here.