There is an imminent possibility that the Finance Minister Gordhan would soon be arrested after the Hawks reportedly handed over a document that shows his involvement in the SA Revenue Service’s ‘rogue unit’, to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
While sevearl sources at both the Hawks and the NPA claim that the authorities are waiting for a “political go-ahead” before they can carry out the arrest, the NPA officially denied such claims.
From the report on Sunday Times, the Hawks are on the verge of prosecuting Gordhan along with eight others for allegedly spying on taxpayers during his tenure as Sars commissioner.
Previously, the finance minister pointed out that the information provided to him by Sars shows that there are 1 599 enforcement auditors who conduct enforcement investigations, and 381 criminal investigators.
Earlier in March, Gordhan told the Hawks that the unit was essential to Sars’ enforcement strategy “as it is with most tax and customs administrations globally”.
Prior to his budget speech, Gordhan’s office had received a list of questions from the investigative body concerning the Sars unit.
This did not come as a surprise as Finance Minster Gordhan and the Hawks have been engaged in a very public war of words conscerning his previous post in Sars.
In addition to his disagreement with the Hawks, Minister Gordhan is also at loggerheads with current Sars commissioner Tom Moyane.
Columnist Max du Preez revealed in March that there was a report at Sars headquarters containing “dynamite allegations of corruption, fraud, front companies and foreign bank accounts against prominent benefactors of President Jacob Zuma”.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance has warned that the news of the arrest of the Minister of Finance‚ Pravin Gordhan‚ would be disastrous for South Africa and possibly lead to an “economic earthquake and make ‘9/12’ look like a minor economic tremor”.
The DA feared the effect such news will have on the economy especially at a time when the country is tryiong hard to avoid a downgrade.
“The timing of the rumours could not be worse and will not only cause further turmoil in the markets‚ but also compromise efforts to avoid a ratings downgrade in South Africa‚” said DA spokesman on finance David Maynier.