Gordhan arrest off the cards – for now: report

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has sent the docket investigating finance minister Pravin Gordhan back to the Hawks, ‘with guidance‘, according to Times Live.

The NPA was responding to Sunday Reports that the minister was facing “imminent” arrest, with the Hawks and prosecutors awaiting political “go-ahead” to make the move.

According to the NPA, while it had received a docket on the finance minister, it had not made a decision on the matter – thus saying an arrest was imminent, or that anyone was facing arrest, was incorrect.

The Presidency on Sunday said that the story was fabricated and is “the work of dangerous information peddlers who wish to cause confusion and mayhem in the country”.

The Hawks declined to comment on the matter, while Gordhan said he was considering releasing a statement.

The Sunday Times, citing senior officials in the Hawks and the NPA, reported that Gordhan was facing imminent arrest on charges of espionage, relating to the so-called “rogue spy unit” at SARS, which was set up under his watch as commissioner.

The Hawks have long been gunning for the minister, even before he was repositioned as head of the finance department in December 2015.

The investigative unit was criticised for taking on the minister during his budget speech in February – a sensitive time for the country, following president Jacob Zuma’s sacking of Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015, which send the economy into a tailspin.

The investigation into the ‘spy unit’ – and by association, Gordhan – was brought by current SARS commissioner, Tom Monyane, who has a tense relationship with Gordhan,

Gordhan has also been trying to get Monyane removed as SARS commissioner, but has been blocked from doing by Zuma.

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Gordhan arrest off the cards – for now: report