Hawks poised to revive Gordhan charges

Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Moves are reportedly afoot by the Hawks to reinstate charges against former finance minister Pravin Gordhan. According to Business Day, the charges are based on the alleged bugging of the offices of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2007 – a project codenamed “Sunday Evenings”.

The newspaper reports that senior sources have claimed that the investigation is at an advanced stage, while two South African Revenue Service (Sars) officials have turned state witness.

The Hawks have yet to confirm the charges against Gordhan, but did confirm to Bloomberg that former finance minister Trevor Manuel and his deputy Jabu Moleketi have been subpoenaed to provide affidavits on “Sunday Evenings”. The Hawks want the affidavits by Friday so “we can finalise this investigation,” said spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi. 

Manuel confirmed to the agency that he received a subpoena: “It is true that the Hawks have requested the pleasure of my company. I don’t know what it is exactly they want to talk to me about as I am abroad.”

Gordhan was probed last year on the alleged Sars’ “rogue unit” but was ultimately charged with fraud in relation to former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement.

The charges were later withdrawn by NPA head Shaun Abrahams.
In doing so he noted: “They did not have the requisite intention to act unlawfully. I have decided to overrule the decision to prosecute Mr Magashule, Mr Pillay and Mr Gordhan. I direct the summonses to be withdrawn with immediate effect.” 

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