This is the full statement released by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in response to the letter from the Hawks telling him to present himself at their offices at 2pm on Thursday.
I confirm that on 22 August 2016, my attorneys received a letter from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (“the HAWKS”) requesting that I present myself at their offices on 25 August 2016, at 14h00 in order that a warning statement may be obtained from me. The letter from the Hawks is attached.
I have since taken legal counsel and my response through my attorneys to the letter by the Hawks together with my statement are attached. I am advised that I am under no legal obligation to present myself to the Hawks as directed in their letter. I have decided not to do so for the following considerations:
1. I was advised in no uncertain terms by the Head of the Hawks, General Ntlemeza, in his letter of 20 May 2016, in response to my attorney’s enquiry, that I am not a suspect in the Hawks’ investigation.
2. I have provided a comprehensive account of matters which the Hawks had raised in their 27 questions on 18 May 2016.
3. I am advised by my legal team that the assertions of law made by the Hawks in their letter of 21 August 2016 are wholly unfounded on any version of the facts. There are two matters raised by the Hawks and these are contravention of the National Strategic Intelligence Act, 39 of 1994 (“the Intelligence Act”) as well as Sections 34 and 81 (2) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1 of 1999 (“PFMA”).
These alleged contraventions are dealt with in detail in my attorneys’ attached letter. Suffice it to say they advise that the alleged charges are wholly unfounded.
I therefore, do not intend to present myself for a warning statement for many considerations, both legal and given my other commitments. I remain committed to assist the Hawks in any bonafide investigation as stated in my statement.
I have a job to do in a difficult economic environment and serve South Africa as best I can. Let me do my job.