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20 Mar 2018 16:25
In a statement, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the allegations were "devoid of any truth". (Reuters)
The Hawks have denied allegations that they are targeting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan for supposedly taking part in illegal interceptions and spying during his time as SARS commissioner.
In a statement, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the allegations were “devoid of any truth”.
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“To put the record straight, there are no investigations or impending charges preferred against Gordhan.”
It had been reported that investigators in the “rogue unit” at SARS had allegedly briefed former police minister Fikile Mbalula, saying there was a strong case for Gordhan to be arrested.
Mulaudzi has denied this, saying that the Hawks never briefed Mbalula of any investigation against Gordhan, nor provided him with any information detailing developments and so-called “compelling evidence”.
The Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) recently revived criminal charges against former SARS executives Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg, and Andries Janse van Rensburg.
The three men were issued a summons to appear in the Pretoria Regional Court on April 9, on charges of corruption and contravention of the Rica Act.
The Priority Crimes Investigative Unit has been investigating the former SARS High Risk Investigation Unit, as well as Gordhan, for supposedly taking part in illegal interceptions and spying. The investigation has been fraught with allegations that it has been used as a political tool against Gordhan.
Following the charging of Pillay, Janse van Rensburg and Van Loggerenberg, concerns have been raised that the next target of the NPA will be Gordhan.
The Hawks investigation into Gordhan’s alleged role in the spy unit is believed to have centered around “Project Sunday Evenings”.
In the list of questions which the Hawks sent Gordhan in 2016, was a specific question about the operation.
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