It is now evident that the Elite police unit (the Hawks) is just using smoke and mirror to make South Africans believe that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is a suspect, as alleged by the unit.
Speaking to reports, Gordhan’s attorney Tebogo Malatji, argued that the Hawks appears to be confused about the “assignment” they are carrying out because they seem to be contradicting themselves in the whole drama.
Sounding confident and unperturbed, Malatji wondered why the Hawks said they want to ‘process’ the finance minister like any other suspect, even though they had earlier announced that Gordhan isn’t a suspect, as stipulated in a letter sent by the Hawks head of organised crime, Major General MS Ledwaba.
He argued further:
“Firstly, he was never a suspect. It has been placed on record by the Hawks. So how do you process him ‘like any other person’ if you previously confirmed he is not a suspect?”
The legal representative of the embattled minister expressed disappointment at how the minister, who is a reputable citizen of South Africa, is being subjected to a threat of arrest.
It is pertinent to note that Malatji’s assertions are in no way different from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela earlier comments on the lingering Gordhan-Hawks fracas.
On Tuesday, the endearing public Protector demanded that the Hawks give an explicit “explanation around when they say they are not investigating, what does it mean?”
She recalled that in May, the Hawks said Gordhan was not under investigation but “was only sent clarity-seeking questions” but now, he (Gordhan) is being summoned for investigation – which leaves many confused and startled.
She lamented: “It worries me what is happening to Minister Gordhan. For me it is amazing but it is also worrying because they did exactly what they did to Pravin Gordhan, where they issued an advisory to the public to say they were just inquiring.”