Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has been summoned to appear in court in connection with the so-called rogue unit established at SARS when he was commissioner.
This comes after a long silence from the state investigative unit after it issued the minister an invitation for questioning in August.
National Prosecution Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams called for a press briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday morning revealing that the minister was summoned on the charges of fraud.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula and former deputy Sars Commissioner Ivan Pillay were the three, asked to appear in court on charges of fraud relating to Pillay’s early retirement.
We could recall that the finance minister and his co-accused were asked to appear at the Hawks for a warning statement but the minister refused to heed the call saying he had given the investigative unit all it needed to investigate his alleged corruption.
At that time also, the minister challenged the crime investigative unit to either arrest him or leave him to focus on his duty as the treasury head.
A docket was subsequently handed to the National Prosecuting Authority soon thereafter and the NPA head said there was no timeline in place to determine whether the minister will be formally charged or not.
The Hawks believe Finance Minister Pravin had contravened sections of the Public Finance Management Act, the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act as well as the National Strategic Intelligence Act.
The unit also accused the finance minister of setting up an investigation unit within Sars which gathered, collected and evaluated intelligence. These the minister denied and several legal experts supported him saying the investigation unit simply has no case against the minister.
These controversies have once more caused the rand to tank by more than 3.5%, to R14.29 as at 10:40am. This marks another stressful period for the rand which was just recuperating.