The Umkhontho weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has come out in defence of the Hawks, saying there is a well-orchestrated and deliberate attack on the unit. This comes in the wake of allegations that the Hawks have allegedly handed over a docket for the prosecution of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. MKMVA chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe said a public attack on the Hawks constituted naked hypocrisy and opportunism.
“The Hawks is but one of those institutions created by an act of parliament to enforce the law,” Maphatsoe told journalists at Luthuli House today. “Why then is the Hawks not being given the same affection, protection and support in the latest investigation? Is it because it is investigating the finance minister, among other persons?”
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MKMVA treasurer-general Des van Rooyen accused Gordhan of using the media to seek sympathy. Van Rooyen is the former finance minister who was sacked four days into his job and replaced with Gordhan. Maphatsoe said those who had captured Treasury were coming out to defend Gordhan. The MKMVA also lambasted the SA Communist Party (SACP) following the party’s claim that President Jacob Zuma was wielding too much power in the Cabinet and ANC.
Maphatsoe said Gordhan must follow the example of great leaders such as Nelson Mandela who never hesitated to subject himself to a court of law when summoned.
“This is where he must act in the best interest of the country and not fight a legitimate state institution through media and friends,” he said.
“Many South Africans before him sacrificed their wellbeing and even paid the ultimate price putting the wellbeing of the country first.
“It is now time for him to put South Africa’s best interests first and ensure that he follows the law to limit public accusations and allow process to unfold unfettered.”
Maphatsoe said Gordhan would set a dangerous precedent if he turned a blind eye to accusations.
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“The fact is that three independent investigation dating back to 2013 have established that a rogue unit existed in Sars [SA Revenue Service] and that it was illegally set up,” said Maphatsoe. “It is interesting to note that all three investigations were independently initiated by National Treasury led by [then] finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.”
“We are of the view that the SACP has other hidden motives and the sooner they come out openly, the better,” said Maphatsoe. “The allegations by the SACP that the president is going to reshuffle the Cabinet and remove members of the SACP are unfounded and malicious.”
However, Maphatsoe said it was the prerogative of the president of the country to appoint ministers and remove them.