Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe has claimed that forces of regime change in South Africa are behind the public spat between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza.
“These forces of change want to create confusion among society,” Maphatsoe told The Citizen on Thursday.
“They want to create the impression that South Africa is not a good place to invest”.
Maphatsoe, who is also the deputy minister of defence and military veterans, said these forces of change wanted to cast aspersions that a factional battle within the ANC was behind the war of words between Gordhan and Ntlemeza.
“They want to undo the good work done by the Hawks,” he said.
Maphatsoe launched a scathing attack on the SA Communist Party (SACP), saying the party had become counter-revolutionary.
“The Hawks and police service must be allowed to do their work without fear or favour,” he said.
This comes after the SACP accused Ntlemeza of using the Hawks to pursue “politically motivated, factional and private agendas”. It also said the Hawks boss had a new mandate to “harass” communists.
On Wednesday, SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said Ntlemeza was likely to initiate an investigation into SACP North West secretary and public works MEC Madoda Sambatha.
“As things stand, something will come out,” Mashilo said.
“Whose agenda is he pursuing?”
But Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi has denied this, describing Mashilo’s utterances as “disturbing”and “malicious”.
Reports that the Hawks want the finance minister to be prosecuted for “espionage” in relation to the SA Revenue Service’s so-called “rogue unit” are at the centre of tensions between Gordhan and Ntlemeza.
Asked whether Gordhan should have his day in court, Maphatsoe said: “We would not want to comment on allegations.”