JOHANNESBURG – The Hawks reacted angrily on Thursday at suggestions by the South African Communist Party (SACP) that ongoing investigations into Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were politically motivated.
The elite crime fighting unit is investigating Gordhan over his alleged role in creating a “rogue unit” at the South African Revenue Services (Sars). The finance minister, whom media reports claimed was facing imminent arrest, has denied any wrongdoing.
Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said: “The SACP alleged in a statement that the Lieutenant General Ntlemeza has a ‘new mandate’ which they claimed was to harass SACP members.
“The party also claimed that they overhead Lieutenant General Ntlemeza telling a ‘third party’ that the Hawks would target Madoda Sambatha of North West”.
Mulaudzi added: “We would like to remind the SACP that the Hawks has one mandate which is to combat, prevent and investigate all serious organised crime, serious corruption and serious commercial crime.
“It is puzzling that the party hides the name of the person who claimed to have overhead the alleged conversation”.
On Wednesday, SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said the conduct of the Hawks under Ntlemeza’s stewardship is increasingly leaving much to be desired.
“It reflects politically motivated, factional and private agendas,” said Mashilo.
Mulaudzi challenged the SACP to open a case and present their evidence in court.
“Reporting such malicious accusations to the relevant office, Judge Essa Moosa, would have at the very least attempt to dignify their utterances than running to the media in a bid to derail the National Head of the Hawks from executing his duties without fear, favour or prejudice.
“The Hawks do not investigate cases through the media and will at no point engage the SACP or anybody else on the individuals we are investigating,” said Mulaudzi.