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'Why leak letters?' asks Gordhan

Mar 14 2016 16:12
Genevieve Quintal, News24

Johannesburg - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Monday questioned why a second Hawks letter apparently sent to him had been leaked.

"Why do we have to leak these things?," he asked while addressing reporters in Johannesburg.

"If you want to talk about it, hold a press conference like us, put all the facts on the table and talk about it. No need to leak in order to malign people."

However, he said news reports at the weekend claiming that a new letter had been sent to him were misleading.

"So I spent three hours with my attorney looking for this letter but the letter [the reporter] was in fact writing about was the letter of March 3," Gordhan said.

"The response to that letter was also sent out with the statement I issued... What the response, among other things, says is please tell us in terms of what legislation or part of legislation, you are doing whatever you are doing?

"The statement says once we have that clarity we will take legal advice and do whatever is the right thing to do and no one is above the law," he said.

The Hawks have given Gordhan until close of business on Monday to respond to 27 questions it sent him regarding the SA Revenue Service's "rogue unit".

Gordhan on Sunday said he had not received a second letter from the Hawks indicating a deadline for Monday.

"My attorneys have confirmed to me that no other letter has been received by their office," he said in a statement.

"I can also confirm that I am unaware of any 'new' letter."

Gordhan also criticised the special police unit and accused it of harassing him. Days before he delivered his budget, the Hawks sent him the list of questions about the so-called spy unit.

The Hawks wanted Gordhan to tell them what he knew about the unit.

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