Trevor Manuel: Firing Gordhan would destroy economy

The Hawks police unit asked Gordhan and other former officials at Sars to report on Thursday.

Trevor Manuel. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African economy, the most developed on the continent, will be destroyed if President Jacob Zuma fires Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, ex-finance minister Trevor Manuel said on Wednesday.

The Hawks police unit asked Gordhan and other former officials at the South African Revenue Service to report on Thursday in relation to contravention of surveillance regulations, fuelling speculation of a plot to oust him.

"Such action (firing Gordhan) will destroy this economy," Manuel told eNCA television.

"The next move is actually up to the head of state to call them (Hawks) in and say: if you have compelling evidence let's see what it is."

GORDHAN: HAWKS' LEGAL TEAM MISINTERPRETED THE LAWS

Minister Gordhan say the allegations and assertions of law made against him, by the Hawks, are wholly unfounded.

Gordhan has responded to the Hawks instruction that he present himself at their offices to provide statement, by saying he won't.

The minister and three former Sars officials have been identified as suspects in an investigation into the nature and conduct of a now disbanded the revenue service's investigations unit.

Gordhan suggests the Hawks' legal team misinterpreted the laws they relied on to charge him.

"I am advised by my legal team that the assertions made by the Hawks in their letter of 21 August 2016, are wholly unfounded on any version of the facts - suffice it to say, I have been advised that the alleged charges are wholly unfounded. I therefore do not intend to present myself for a warning statement."

To read Pravin Gordhan's full statement, click here.

Additional reporting by Reuters