Nhleko responds to Hawks investigation into SARS unit

Nhleko responds to Hawks investigation into SARS unit

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has dispelled rumours that the Hawks investigation into SARS' so-called rogue unit was a political witch hunt. 

File photo: Gallo Images

Nhleko briefed on Wednesday following a number of statements and reports over the past week on the spat between finance minister Pravin Gordhan, SARS and the Hawks.

The Hawks are investigating allegations of a rogue unit established within the SA Revenue Service, while Finance Minister Gordhan was SARS Commissioner. 

Minister Nhleko assured the media the investigation into the unit was nothing new.

"Indeed, there is an investigation and that investigation is a known investigation. It has been ongoing for some few years now," he said

Minister Gordhan's legal team has informed the Hawks that the minister would not be answering their questions by 4.00 pm on Wednesday.

In a counter question to the Hawks, Gordhan asked them on what authority they were relying on directing the questions to him.

Nhleko said he was aware of Minister Gordhan's response and added that he did not understand why some were questioning the authority of the Hawks to probe the unit.

"The work of the police is governed and is dictated by the constitutional mandate, for an example, we investigate crime - we also do follow up and investigate on specific sort of complaints," he said.

Nhleko asked the media to allow the probe to be completed.

He also made it clear it's not unusual for questions to be sent during investigations such as those sent to Minister Gordhan.

Edited by Suné du Toit

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