ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Friday accused the Hawks of sabotage after the unit sent questions to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan four days before his budget speech.
Much work had been done to stabilise the economy and the country, and Gordhan had been working closely with President Jacob Zuma, he told ANN7.
“Now, in the middle of that hard work, [the Hawks] send questions… to the minister four days before the budget. From where I sit… I see that as sabotaging and actually deflecting the focus of the minister on what his task at hand is.”
This was not professional, he said.
Leaking information to the media after the budget was another “act of sabotage”.
Business Day reported on Friday that Gordhan told Zuma shortly before his speech that he would resign if Zuma did not remove South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane, as he could not work with him.
The Hawks’ questions reportedly related to Gordhan’s knowledge of a so-called rogue intelligence unit at the South African Revenue Service (Sars).
Gordhan previously rejected claims that auditing firm KPMG had confirmed the existence of such a unit at Sars. He said the rumours of the unit’s existence were baseless.
Mantashe said the ANC was aware of who had leaked the information. It was someone within Sars.
“We [are] having a discussion with that person and our view is that you don’t leak information to the media because you are being dirty if there is a conflict.
“You must be confidential in dealing with matters that are sensitive… that can impact negatively on the country and the economy,” Mantashe said.
If something had to be investigated, it should be done professionally and not in the “glare of the media”.
Mantashe did not directly respond to reports that Gordhan had threatened to resign.
“The issue is we had a discussion with him on Monday and the emphasis on our part was: focus on the budget, don’t be derailed, present it, deal with details of the budget, that’s it – and that he has done.”
He said the ANC met Moyane on Thursday.
“[We told him] information must not be leaked to the media, be professional and all those things. We are meeting everybody who is concerned.”