Finance minister Pravin Gordhan may be charged as early as next week, along with three former SA Revenue Service (Sars) officials, according to a report in the City Press.
Gordhan is facing a charge of corruption for granting former Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay, early retirement and later extending his contract.
His former colleagues will be charged with fraud and illegal spying, City press reported.
Earlier this week, EWN reported that the Hawks believe Gordhan contravened sections of the Public Finance Management Act, the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act as well as the National Strategic Intelligence Act.
The special investigations unit has also accused the finance minister of setting up an investigation unit within Sars which gathered, collected and evaluated intelligence.
Gordhan has denied any and all wrongdoing. “I have been advised that the alleged charges are wholly unfounded,” he said in a statement earlier this week.
His lawyer, Tebogo Malatji, said Sars’ investigation unit was legal, adding that the Hawks’ interpretation of the law was incorrect.
City Press reported that as many as 30 witnesses have been lined up to testify against the four men – who include former Sars high-risk investigations unit (HRIU) head Johann van Loggerenberg and former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula.
The Hawks concluded its investigation on Thursday, and handed the case over to national director of public prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams.
City Press reported that while NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku denied that a decision to charge the finance minister has already been taken, four senior sources within the NPA, the Hawks and Sars, said that the men would “definitely” be criminally charged.
“We confirm receipt of the docket relating to the Sars rogue unit matter. The NPA received the docket on August 26. The NPA has not taken any decision to prosecute any person(s),” Mfaku said.
“If there is no outstanding investigation, a decision will be made whether or not to prosecute any person(s) in relation to the matter.”
City Press sources said that the only discussion left is whether to arrest the men, or serve them with summonses to appear in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court.
A source at the Hawks said: “Our team finished their work on Thursday and the understanding was that the NPA should serve them with summonses to appear in court to be formally charged. Several statements have been obtained as guided by the NPA and the matter will be dealt with speedily.”
A senior source at the NPA said the summonses would be served no later than two weeks.
Read the full article in the City Press – Sunday 28 August edition.