This is neither a talk-show nor a soapie - Hawks to Gordhan
This is neither a talk-show nor a soapie‚ the Hawks told Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday.
In a highly unusual step‚ South Africa’s top investigations unit publicly advised the Minister that he would not receive preferential treatment and that its work would not be stalled by a lack of co-operation.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation‚ commonly known as the Hawks‚ wants to find out what Gordhan knows about the so-called “rogue unit” set up at the South African Revenue Service under his watch‚ when he was the Sars commissioner.
Investigators sent two letters to Gordhan wanting answers to 27 questions. The initial deadline of March 1 passed when he said he was prepping the National Budget and did not have time to comply‚ and he said he had not received the second letter‚ which set Monday 14 March as the deadline.
Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement on Tuesday the unit was concerned about Gordhan’s statement that he was not aware of the letter sent to him‚ detailing 4pm on March 14 as the deadline for answering the questions.
“The Hawks do not engage people on public space but the Minister has left us no choice but to clear the air‚ set the record straight and restore public’s trust on us as an elite crime fighting unit‚” he said.
Mulaudzi said acknowledgement of the second letter was received by Gordhan’s lawyers.
“...Had the minister‚ like any law-abiding citizen‚ complied with our letter and provided answers‚ we would not be where we are today.
“This is neither a talk-show nor a soapie. We are mandated to investigate without fear‚ favour or prejudice…
“The minister‚ for whatever reasons‚ has failed to meet the SECOND deadline for answering questions and our legal team are forging a way forward which will see the Hawks exercising our constitutional powers‚” Mulaudzi said.
“The investigations will not be stalled by an individual who refuses to comply with the authorities and demand a preferential treatment.”
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