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Mon Jul 25 08:19:28 CAT 2016

Gordhan demands answers from the Hawks

Sipho Masombuka | 02 March, 2016 14:54
Gordhan had until 4pm on Wednesday to respond to the list of 27 questions sent to him just days before he delivered his budget speech in parliament last week in what he said was an attempt to intimidate him. File photo
Image by: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's lawyers have requested the Hawks to explain on whose authority the elite police unit was acting on in demanding answers from the minister regarding the so-called SA Revenue Services rogue unit.

In a letter directed to Hawks head Lt General Berning Ntlemeza‚ the minister‚ through his lawyer Tebogo Malatji‚ also wants to know whether the Hawks were investigating any offence against the minister and if so‚ what offence.

Gordhan had until 4pm on Wednesday to respond to the list of 27 questions sent to him just days before he delivered his budget speech in parliament last week in what he said was an attempt to intimidate him.

The minister explained in the letter that he was unable to meet the deadline to respond as he had had no chance to consult with his lawyers as he was preparing for the budget speech when the letter was sent.

“You would have been aware that‚ at the time your letter dated 19 February 2016 was delivered‚ the Honourable minister was engaged in preparing the National Budget speech to parliament on 24 February 2016. This is particularly so since‚ when you telephoned on 18 February in an attempt to speak to him you were requested to contact him after the budget speech‚” Malatji said in the letter sent to the Hawks on Wednesday.

The letter stated that Gordhan had only now been able to consult with his lawyers and would respond in due course “once he has properly examined the questions and ascertained what information‚ of the information you request‚ he is able to provide”.

Gordhan further requested answers to his questions to the Hawks in order to assist him in preparing his response.

TMG Digital/The Times

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