NPA could charge Gordhan and co this week – report

2016-08-28 13:00
Former Sars chief Pravin Gordhan. (File, City Press)

Former Sars chief Pravin Gordhan. (File, City Press)

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Johannesburg – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could charge Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and three former SA Revenue Services officials this week, the City Press reported on Sunday.

According to the publication, the Hawks had concluded its investigations into corruption, fraud and illegal spying against Gordhan, former Sars commissioners Ivan Pillay and Oupa Magashula, as well as high risk investigations unit head, Johan van Loggerenberg on Thursday and delivered its docket to the NPA.

The NPA had reportedly already lined up a list of more than 30 witnesses to testify against the four, the publication said.

Among the witnesses were ANC donor Jen-Chih 'Robert' Huang who had his assets frozen two years ago over a R541m tax claim. Huang is also a former business partner of President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse, City Press reported.

Gordhan, Pillay, Magashula and Van Loggerenberg were summoned to appear before the Hawks last Thursday morning.

The Hawks wanted to question Gordhan regarding his alleged contravention of the National Strategic Intelligence Act and Public Finance Management Act. These related to his approval of former Sars commissioner Pillay's early retirement in 2010 and to the alleged creation of an intelligence unit within Sars.

'Mandela's values'

In a statement on Wednesday, Gordhan said he had taken legal advice and had no obligation to present himself to the Hawks, asking that he be left to do his job in a difficult economic environment.

Gordhan was Sars commissioner between 1999 and 2009. During this period a so-called 'rogue unit' was allegedly established. It was allegedly involved in illegal intelligence gathering.

Pillay and Van Loggerenberg met with the Hawks amid support from civil society concerned the investigation was really a battle for control of the country's purse strings.

The lawyer representing them said his clients would follow due process in their case with the Hawks.

President Jacob Zuma meanwhile said he had full confidence in Gordhan but did not have the power to stop any investigations into any individuals.

During a meeting with staff members at the Treasury on Friday, Gordhan reportedly said the Gupta family, known to be close friends of the president, were attacking him because of the work the department was doing.

He also allegedly said what as currently happening in the country was a battle for "Mandela values" versus the values of those who steal.

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

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