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Religious leaders join Gordhan supporters in Hawks matter

The leaders of the met with the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his director general this morning.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Religious Leaders Council has added its voice in support of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his Treasury team-and says it's concerned about how the minister is being treated by the Hawks.

The leaders met with the minister and his director general this morning.

Last month the Hawks instructed the minister and three former South African Revenue Services (Sars) officials to hand themselves over to the unit's offices to sign a warning statement.

But the minister declined-after receiving legal advice that he was not obliged to.

The unit has identified the minister and the former Sars officials as suspects in the investigation of the now defunct so called rogue unit.

As the National Prosecuting Authority mulls over evidence submitted by the Hawks and ponders whether or not to prosecute Pravin Gordhan, support for the finance minister is growing.

Business leaders, a group of academics and now the religious leaders have rallied behind Gordhan.

The council's Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein says, "We would like to strongly warn those who want to raid the institutions and destabilise this country not to push the people of South Africa too far."

He says as religious leaders, they believe the spat between the Finance Minister and the Hawks is intended to humiliate and intimidate him.

Meanwhile yesterday, African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize said the ANC, the president and his deputy all supported Gordhan.