The ongoing public spats around the Hawks and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan brought confusion among South Africans and should stop, the African National Congress (ANC) said on Tuesday.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the matter should be dealt with within the security cluster and without a “hullabaloo”.
“The Hawks should be allowed to do their work and investigate, but this should not be a subject of newspaper headlines. As comrades get into the fray and take sides, they legitimise the narrative that there is no direction,” Mantashe told reporters following an ANC National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Monday.
“We do not say that Gordhan must be untouchable, but sending him 27 questions and then send another letter summoning him humiliates the minister.”
Mantashe said the ANC had confidence in Gordhan and the work of the National Treasury, but cautioned them against taking a “public posture” that seems to isolate them from the rest of government and position them as victims to be protected by society.
“Our position remains unchanged, all parties to the dispute are encouraged to cooperate in the investigation. This matter serves no one by being debated in the public domain.”
He called on the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), which had lambasted Gordhan for not presenting himself to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, or Hawks, as summoned, to distance itself from the Hawks and Gordhan fray.
“We call on all structures of the ANC and the MKMVA to not enter the fray as they contribute to the cacophony of noise, which promotes general confusion, and the perception of a politically motivated persecution. Government has a responsibility to safeguard the economy by dealing with this matter away from the public glare.”
MKMVA head Kebby Maphatsoe, also deputy minister of defence and military veterans, and Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs David Van Rooyen, both in their capacity as MKMVA leaders, lambasted Gordhan over the Hawks saga at a media briefing on Monday. Van Rooyen called on Gordhan to “stop running to the media” and present himself to the Hawks as requested.
Maphatsoe said Gordhan’s refusal to go see the Hawks undermined the work of the investigation unit.
– Africa News Agency (ANA)