Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday broke his silence on the Hawks’ summons issued to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, saying he had no power to stop the elite unit’s investigation.
“President Jacob Zuma wishes to express his full support and confidence in the Minister of Finance and emphasises the fact that the minister has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing,” said Zuma.
“The Presidency wishes to also emphasise that President Zuma does not have powers to stop any investigations into any individual/s. Our constitutional democracy, the strength of our state institutions and the effectiveness of our courts in upholding and protecting rights is our guarantee of justice and fairness.”
Zuma said despite the shock to the economy, which saw the rand sliding as soon as news broke that Gordhan was asked to present himself to the Hawks to sign a warning letter in connection with the unit’s probe into the alleged setting up of a rogue spy unit within the SA Revenue Service, he was not able to step in.
“The negative effect of these matters on our economy, personal pressure on the individuals affected as well as the heads of institutions, however disturbing, cannot be cause for the president to intervene unconstitutionally.”
Gordhan was asked to present himself to the Hawks by 2pm on Thursday. The minister had however issued a statement saying he would not do so, saying he had been advised by his lawyers that allegations made by the Hawks in a missive sent to him on Monday were “wholly unfounded on any version of events”.
African News Agency