Gordhan can approach Hawks watchdog - judge

2016-03-15 13:15
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File: AFP)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File: AFP)

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Cape Town – If Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan felt violated by the Hawks, he was within his rights to approach the unit's watchdog, retired judge Essa Moosa said on Tuesday.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation office of the judge is responsible for keeping the crime fighting unit in check. Moosa runs the office

The DCPI judge’s office receives and investigates complaints from any member of the public who can provide evidence of a serious and unlawful infringement of his or her rights caused by an investigation by the unit.

They also investigate complaints from any member of the DPCI regarding improper influence or interference when conducting an investigation.

Making an example of the type of cases they had a mandate to investigate, Moosa said the bitter stand-off between the Hawks and Gordhan would qualify.

“If, for example the minister feels his rights as a member of the public have been violated as a result of the questions put to him, he could then come to us and we will then be obliged in terms of our mandate to investigate.”

He said his office would then report the outcome of the complaint to both the ministers of finance and police.

Gordhan was given a deadline for Monday to answer 27 questions regarding a so-called "rogue unit" in the SA Revenue Service.

Gordhan said on Sunday he had not received a second letter from the Hawks indicating Monday's deadline.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and Hawks boss General Berning Ntlemeza refused to comment on Tuesday on whether Gordhan met his deadline.

They also refused to comment on reports of tensions between Gordhan and the Hawks.

“Which situation? Truly speaking I don’t speak to non-issues. I don’t talk about non-issues, including matters of operations. Operations are operations,” Nhleko said.

Ntlemeza said he would not be drawn on those issues.

“I don’t want to talk about anything. When I bring somebody to court, then you are going to see the Hawks is working,” he said.

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