Following NPA’s decision to press charges against him, the Finance Minister calls on South Africans to ask who the Hawks are really serving
The minister said this in Midrand, Johannesburg where he was attending an Open Tender Seminar.
Gordhan who confirmed court’s invitation to appear on fraud charges said he was informed by his family who said someone had come to his house to issue the summons this morning.
Shaun Abrahams, the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) read a statement on the so-called rogue unit at the South African Revenue Service (Sars) on Tuesday morning saying the finance minister Pravin has been ordered to appear before a court on a charge of fraud over the Sars spy unit.
In reply to the summon, Gordhan said an official statement will be released by his lawyers but that South Africans needed to ask who the investigative unit is serving.
“South Africans must ask who the Hawks are really serving?” said Gordhan as he further asked where the Hawks are getting their instructions from, as he expects to be handed a summons to be in court on November 2.
“These people know who my lawyers are and they know to make arrangements with them for me to receive summons,” said Gordhan
As expected, the public fear that Gordhan’s arrest could further plunge the country’s economy into recession especially as the rand is affected dropping over 3% this morning at the news of his court charges.
Speaking on this, business analysts say court summons could see S&P immediately downgrade South Africa especially as the international agencies had previously noted that the uptick in political uncertainty over the last year has been a key factor weighing on the country’s sovereign debt rating.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier David Makhura encouraged Gordhan to remain steadfast in serving the country.
“We believe in your ability to face this moment as you work hard and do your best to steer the economy collectively, on the right path.
“The truth will come out. The truth is too strong to be kept secret,” said premier Makhura who was also present at the Open Tender Seminar in Midrand when news of Gordhan’s summons broke.