Mantashe dodges Ntlemeza credibility question

Gwede Mantashe says it’s wrong to simplify the spat between Gordhan and Ntlemeza to a credibility contest.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the party is not going to comment on whether Berning Ntlemeza has the credibility to the lead the Hawks, in its dispute with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, after he was found by a judge to have lied under oath.

Gordhan has refused to present himself to the Hawks to give a warning statement, saying he believes the unit is trying to intimidate him.

Mantashe says it's wrong to simplify the issue to a credibility contest between the finance minister and Ntlemeza.

"Hawks is not Ntlemeza, it is an institution. You may find that that case is handled by a different commissioned officer, not the head of the Hawks."

He says it's not about the credibility of Ntlemeza.

"We take it that we know what you are saying; it is that nobody must ever be arrested by the Hawks until Ntlemeza goes."

The head of the Hawks has not appealed the ruling that found that he had lied under oath, while several organisations are going to court asking that his appointment be declared unlawful.

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Meanwhile, concerns have been raised that alleged factions within the ANC could be leading to a party split amid the ongoing spat between the Hawks and the finance minister.

"I think it is also partly the blame game that was bound to come after elections. There are individual personalities [where] clearly the egos are clashing."