Struggle veterans join chorus of support for Gordhan

Ahmed Kathrada & Barbara Hogan have come out in support of the finance minister.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Anti-apartheid struggle veterans Ahmed Kathrada and former minister Barbara Hogan are the latest to throw their support behind Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, saying they salute his decision not to report to the Hawks.

Gordhan and three former South African Revenue Service (Sars) officials were summoned to the unit's offices on Thursday for a warning statement. However, the minister chose not to present himself, saying he was under no obligation to do so.

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

Gordhan has also received support from a group of business leaders and academics, who penned open letters to President Jacob Zuma.

They've asked him to intervene in what they called "an attack by the Hawks on the minister".

The president and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, have expressed their support, but Zuma says he doesn't have the power to intervene.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's Neeshan Balton says the struggle stalwarts have sent a letter to the minister.

The veterans noted, "Dear Pravin, we recall your courageous and consistent struggle record as a freedom fighter and later as minister. Try as they may; no mischievous elements will succeed in their nefarious efforts to dent your contribution. Certainly not in South Africa, and not in the world. Keep strong."

But the ANC Youth League and Women's League don't agree with Gordhan's position.

They have accused him of disrespecting state institutions.