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Report: 'Gordhan being targeted by Guptas'

According to a report, the minister allegedly told people yesterday that the family is targeting him.

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

JOHANNESBURG - After days of economic and political volatility over the finance minister probe, it's now being reported that Pravin Gordhan allegedly told Treasury staff that he's being targeted by the Guptas.

News24 is reporting that the embattled finance minister allegedly told people yesterday that the controversial family is targeting him because of the work his department has been doing.

After seeking legal advice, the minister chose not to present himself to the Hawks this week to provide a warning statement on a covert South African Revenue Service unit.

It's understood he also explained to his colleagues the Hawks had a faulty legal reading on the charges against him, saying there's no legal basis for the probe.

At the same time, a Reuters poll of economists has found there's general agreement that South Africa's credit rating is heading towards junk status due to the fallout.

Former leader FW de Klerk is warning the economy will be affected. He says the Hawks are arrogant and need to change their ways before it's too late.

"What I perceive to be a form of arrogance from the Hawks is unacceptable. It is harming the interests of all South Africans."

WATCH: _Gordhan explains why he refused Hawks request _

ACADEMICS BACK GORDHAN

Yesterday, group of 70 academics added their voice to the ongoing battle between Finance Minister Pravin Gordan and the Hawks.

In a letter, the academics noted that since early this year, Gordhan has been subjected to an unrelenting attack from the Hawks and want the president to intervene.

They have called on the president, his cabinet and African National Congress to assist by bringing what they call the dangerous set of events to an end in the interest of the country and economy.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) says by not presenting himself to the Hawks for a warning statement, Gordhan has disrespected the State institution.

Additional reporting by Clement Manyathela.