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Gordhan accused of undermining Hawks, using media to solicit sympathy

Des Van Rooyen says Pravin Gordhan has chosen to run to the media instead of responding to the Hawks.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association Treasurer General Des Van Rooyen, who is also the minister of local government, has accused Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan of undermining the Hawks and using the media to solicit sympathy.

Earlier today, the association held a briefing to express its views on the spat between the minister and the Hawks.

The unit has identified the minister and three other Sars officials as suspects in the investigation of the now defunct so called controversial unit.

The Hawks instructed the four to present themselves at its offices last week but the finance minister chose not to citing he was under no legal obligation.

Van Rooyen says Gordhan was given an opportunity to respond to the Hawks when they initially sent him questions but he chose to run to the media.

"A plead for sympathy in the media and strategy of using the media to organise support is not going to help."

He also says the spat between the minister and the Hawks has nothing to do with the president.

"We are not comfortable with the linkage of the president to this investigation."

Van Rooyen says he doesn't feel conflicted by criticising his Cabinet colleague because according to him, he's just telling the truth.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress youth and women's leagues also criticised Gordhan, saying he disrespects State institutions.