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Fri Aug 26 15:49:02 SAST 2016

Gordhan: I'm going nowhere

Jan-Jan Joubert | 03 March, 2016 00:42
The statement came hours after Gordhan sent a letter to the Hawks informing them he would answer the questions posed to him. File photo
Image by: Russell Roberts / Russell Roberts

Pravin Gordhan has no intention of resigning his post.

Addressing MPs yesterday, the finance minister said he was not going to resign because he had a job to do - avoid a sovereign downgrade by ratings agencies.

The statement came hours after Gordhan sent a letter to the Hawks informing them he would answer the questions posed to him.

In his letter, penned by his lawyers, Gordhan wanted to know:

  • On what authority the Hawks had relied when directing the 27 questions to him; and
  • Whether the Hawks were investigating an offence and, if so, what was it?

The Hawks sent Gordhan questions about a "rogue" SA Revenue Service unit six days before he presented the Budget, in what was widely perceived to be an attempt by his detractors in the ANC - assumed to be allies of President Jacob Zuma - to undermine him.

The battle between various groups and individuals on the alleged rogue unit reached new depths yesterday with a flurry of correspondence between three cabinet ministers and three former employees of the revenue service.

The three - former unit head Johann van Loggerenberg, former SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay and former senior staffer Peter Richer - later issued statements.

Van Loggerenberg said he had never been properly questioned on the functioning of the unit and that it had done nothing illegal.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and State Security Minister David Mahlobo also briefed the media on the Hawks' progress with the investigation.

Nhleko defended the Hawks' decision to ask Gordhan questions about the alleged rogueunit.

"There's nothing out of the ordinary for the Hawks to pose certain questions," said Nhleko.

He denied Gordhan was specifically being investigated for an offence, saying that no charge had been formulated, and that the questions were merely part of an investigation.

Nhleko denied the timing of the questions was political.

Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said he would no longer comment on the issue.

"This is becoming a boxing match between Gordhan and us, which is not good for the country," he said.

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