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Thu Jun 30 15:57:21 SAST 2016

Pravin Gordhan's 'rogue unit' letter to the Hawks

TMG Digital | 02 March, 2016 15:26
Pravin Gordhan attends a panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.
Image by: Matthew Lloyd / Bloomberg

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan‚ through his legal team‚ on Wednesday sent a letter demanding answers from the Hawks over its investigation into the so-called rogue unit at the SA Revenue Service when he was national commissioner. The unit is alleged to have spied on people.

Gordhan threw down the gauntlet‚ asking by what authority the Hawks were questioning him. He also wanted to know what offence‚ if any‚ was under investigation by the elite police unit.

Here is the letter‚ verbatim:

Dear Lt General Ntlemeza‚

INVESTIGATION QUESTIONS – THE HON. MINISTER PRAVIN GORDHAN

We refer to your letters of 19 February and 1 March 2016.

We confirm that we act on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Finance‚ Mr Pravin Gordhan MP. Your letters have been directed to us for a response.

You will have been aware that‚ at the time your letter of 19 February 2016 was delivered‚ the Honourable Minister was engaged in preparing the national Budget Speech for presentation 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.

You are aware of the national importance of the Budget Speech‚ and that he was not able to permit any distractions to jeopardise the Budget processes.

In the circumstances‚ he has only just been able to begin to consult with his legal representatives on the best way in which to respond to your letter‚ and the questions annexed to it.

He is therefore unable to respond by 16h00 today as you have requested. He will 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.

That said‚ we request the following information to assist him in preparing his response: 7.1 On what authority do you rely on directing these questions to the Honourable Minister? 7.2 Are you investigating any offence? If so‚ what is it? 8. We look forward to your response at your earliest convenience.

Yours faithfully GILDENHUYS MALATJI INC Per: T Malatji

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