The controversies about finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has degenerated into long public spats and the governing African National Congress (ANC) says this must stop.
The governing party related its inconvenience over the Hawks probe on Gordhan and all the confusions it has generated among South Africans in just a short while.
The party’s secretary general, Gwaede Mantashe, said South Africans need to allow the Hawks to perform their duties in accordance to the law. The matter needed be thoroughly dealt with within the the security cluster and without a “hullabaloo”.
“The Hawks should be allowed to do their work and investigate, but this should not be a subject of newspaper headlines. As comrades get into the fray and take sides, they legitimize the narrative that there is no direction,” Mantashe told reporters following an ANC National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Monday.
“We do not say that Gordhan must be untouchable, but sending him 27 questions and then send another letter summoning him humiliates the minister.”
Mantashe further noted that the ANC, like the president, has confidence in Finance minister Gordhan and the work of the National Treasury, but cautioned against taking a “public posture” that seems to isolate them from the rest of government and position them as victims to be protected by society
“Our position remains unchanged, all parties to the dispute are encouraged to cooperate in the investigation. This matter serves no one by being debated in the public domain.”
He also cautioned the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), which had lashed Gordhan for not presenting himself to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, or Hawks, as summoned, to distance itself from the Hawks and Gordhan case.
“We call on all structures of the ANC and the MKMVA to not enter the fray as they contribute to the cacophony of noise, which promotes general confusion, and the perception of a politically motivated persecution. Government has a responsibility to safeguard the economy by dealing with this matter away from the public glare.”
While Van Rooyen called on Gordhan to “stop running to the media” and present himself to the Hawks as requested, Maphatsoe said Gordhan’s refusal to go see the Hawks undermined the work of the investigation unit.
Meanwhile, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday that it had no deadline for taking a decision on whether to charge Pravin Gordhan and all those implicated in the so-called rogue spy unit within the South African Revenue Service.
NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said the investigation will depend on the magnitude of the matter, whether there are hundreds of documents to look at.
“If there is a need for further investigation, we will call for further investigation,” he added