Hawks mum on next move against Gordhan

Minister Gordhan said he will not be presenting himself to the unit for a warning statement today.

SA Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan speaks to a group of UCT students a week before the 2016 municipal elections. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks have remained mum on what action it will take against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan after he said he will not be presenting himself to the unit for a warning statement today.

Yesterday, Gordhan indicated he is under no legal obligation to do so.

Gordhan and three former South African Revenue Services (Sars) officials were instructed to appear before the unit.

They have been identified as suspects in an investigation into the nature and conduct of a now disbanded Sars investigation unit.

Gordhan says he will not be at the Hawks offices today because he was assured by the same unit that he's not a suspect in the investigation and that he provided a comprehensive account on matters the unit needed clarity on.

Legal expert Cathy Powell says there is something wrong with the Hawks ordering Gordhan to show up for a warning statement when in fact the unit doesn't have prima-facie evidence against him.

"They haven't mentioned any crimes and they haven't provided any evidence that will basically convey what he's been accused for that Gordhan has got a case to answer."

Powell says now that the minister won't be appearing before the Hawks, the unit might refer the matter to the National Prosecuting Authority for the NDPP to make a final decision.

The Hawks believe Gordhan contravened sections of the Public Finance Management Act, the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act as well as the National Strategic Intelligence Act.

The Hawks say the minister then re-appointed Pillay and retained him in the same position for three years.

Gordhan is also accused of setting up an investigation unit within Sars which gathered, collected and evaluated intelligence.

He provided the Hawks with a full explanation to these charges and has denied any and all wrongdoing.

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

Gordhan earlier released a statement saying: "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."