State agencies can't be used for political battles - Cosatu

2016-05-26 17:59
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions on Thursday said it was opposed to state agencies being used to fight political battles.

The central executive committee met this week where it discussed issues including the ongoing fight between the Hawks and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

"The federation is unambiguous in its denouncement of this phenomenon and we will not sit idle when agencies are running amok and used to settle political scores," Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg.

The Sunday Times reported two weeks ago that the Hawks wanted Gordhan and eight others charged for alleged illicit intelligence gathering and spying on taxpayers during his time as Sars commissioner between 1999 and 2009. 

A so-called "rogue unit" within Sars was allegedly responsible for this. The Hawks and NPA were reportedly waiting for "political go-ahead" before arresting him, the paper reported.

The minister and NPA have denied that there was a political motivation to the investigation. 

The SA Communist Party had expressed support for Gordhan and criticized Hawks head, Lieutenant-General Berning Ntlemeza.

The SACP said it had consulted its lawyers about lodging a formal complaint against Ntlemeza with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Public Protector, and was preparing documents and an affidavit.

The trade union federation’s CEC had not discussed joining the SACP in lodging a formal complaint, second deputy president Zingiswa Losi said.

She said Cosatu felt the matter was between the Hawks and Gordhan and should not play out in public.

"If the Hawks are investigating any person, they must do their work without leaking those issues, and if the office of the minister needs to respond it must not be in public.

"Cosatu is very clear that we are against any use of state apparatus against any individual," Losi said.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  hawks  |  johannesburg

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