Worries are still on the rise following the case between the Hawks and the finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. This time, Catholic Bishops call on President Jacob Zuma to assure South Africans that the investigation of the minister is not politically inclined.
The SA catholic Bishops who are not equally convinced that the case between Finance minister Gordhan and the hawks are free from political manipulations, asked the president to intervene in the case as a proof that his hands are clean in the matter.
President Jacob Zuma, last week, announced his stand in the Gordhan-Hawks issue. He said he could not bring a halt to the probe even if it was affecting the economy negatively.
But in reply to this, Bishop Abel Gabuza – who chairs the SACBC’s Justice and Peace Commission – insisted that “the president can and should do more” in the case.
“We ask the president to intervene in the current impasse in a manner that assures the country that the probe against the finance minister is not politically motivated‚” he said, adding the current uncertainties around the future of the finance minister and the Treasury are not in the interest of the poorest of the poor.
“In the context of the current fragile economy‚ and given the enormous hardships that the poor are already facing in our country‚ it is ethically improper of our political leaders to create uncertainties around the Treasury and diminish the country’s ability to avert a credit-rating downgrade that would hurt the poor.”
“That is why we are calling on the Presidency and Parliament to do more to intervene in the current crisis around the Treasury.
“The statement that the Presidency issued last week has failed to offer such a high level of assurance. More needs to be done.”
Gordhan’s summon by the investigative units have raised much issues in the country regarding its effect on the state economy which has suffered lots of set backs of recent.
On this, Gabuza on behalf of the Catholic Bishops, stressed that though they are not in the position to determine the merits and demerits of the alleged criminal case against the minister, they strongly warn against political leaders hijacking the State agencies and judicial processes to fight their factional battles and advance their narrow interests‚ without regard to its consequences on the economy and the poor.
“As there is a lot at stake for the economy and the poor‚ we ask the president to offer the country a greater level of assurance that the Hawks’ probe against the finance minister was not initiated as a part of a broader ploy to remove the finance minister from office and weaken Treasury’s capacity to fight tender corruption and inefficient governance of state-owned enterprises.”
Nevertheless, the finance minister maintained that he would not allow the current situation to affect his aim of fighting for the country even if it cost him his life.
The Minister who turned down the Hawks call, for a warning statement about charges that stem from his time as commissioner of the South African Revenue Service, said even though he lose his job as the finance minister, he would not stop protecting the state treasury from corrupt politicians.