Hawks allegations against Gordhan baseless - former top judge

2016-08-25 10:54
Helen Suzman Foundation's Francis Antonie, Freedom Under Law Chairperson Judge Johan Kriegler and Advocate George Bizos (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Helen Suzman Foundation's Francis Antonie, Freedom Under Law Chairperson Judge Johan Kriegler and Advocate George Bizos (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Civil society groups have described the allegations of corruption made by the Hawks against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his former Sars colleagues as baseless.

"We believe we speak on behalf of all fair-minded South Africans, irrespective of political persuasion, in showing our support for the minister of finance and his former colleagues at Sars and our outrage at this attack on them," Freedom Under Law chairperson and former judge Johan Kriegler said.

"Not only are the charges baseless, but the manner in which they have been pursued is clearly calculated to besmirch the names of the individuals and has predictably already seriously impaired our national economy."

Kriegler said those behind the campaign of public vilification and persuasion must have known of this fact from the outset.

He said the office of the Hawks was being used to pursue the campaign. He also took the time to question Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza's fitness to hold office.

"We know that, whatever motives, the agency being primarily used to pursue the campaign is the Hawks, which is headed by a man whose appointment and fitness for office are currently being challenged in the courts. So is the hounding from office of his predecessor and the effective destruction of the senior command structure of not only the Hawks, but of IPID, and even more ominously, the NPA," said Kriegler.

He said it was disturbing that those being humiliated were not given a chance to answer the charges that were one-sided.

"Dragging in Minister Gordhan is all the more outrageous. The timing and the manner of the steps against him evidence ill-will towards a loyal public servant who together with the [former finance] minister [Trevor] Manuel and their team of reformers created arguably the most efficient government agency of the new South Africa. He does not deserve this. Neither do we," said Kriegler.

The Hawks have accused Gordhan of acting corruptly for granting early retirement to former deputy head of Sars Ivan Pillay and the creation of an intelligence unit within Sars.

Read more on:    sars  |  hawks  |  pravin gordhan  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.