South Africa 31.8.2017 08:10 am

Hawks gun for Manuel and Gordhan over Sars spy unit

Former minister of finance Pravin Gordhan with the former minister of finance Trevor Manuel ahead of his 2016 Budget Vote Speech presentation on February 24, 2015 at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Lerato Maduna)

Former minister of finance Pravin Gordhan with the former minister of finance Trevor Manuel ahead of his 2016 Budget Vote Speech presentation on February 24, 2015 at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Lerato Maduna)

The Sars intelligence unit, dubbed ‘Project Sunday Evenings’, was set up in 2007 and disbanded in 2015.

The Hawks have reportedly asked former finance minister Trevor Manuel and his one-time deputy, Jabu Moleketi, to provide affidavits on the controversial South African revenue service (Sars) intelligence unit that allegedly spied on politicians.

Bloomberg reports, that on Wednesday Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that the pair had until Friday to provide the affidavits to the priority crimes unit in order to finalise an investigation into the unit, dubbed “Project Sunday Evenings”, which was set up in 2007 and disbanded in 2015.

Mulaudzi said a judge had ordered Manuel and Moleketi to provide affidavits on this matter.

“It is true that the Hawks have requested the pleasure of my company.  I don’t know what it is exactly they want to talk to me about as I am abroad,” Manuel told the news agency.

According to TimesLIVE, the Hawks have also set their sights on charging another former finance minister Pravin Gordhan over the intelligence unit as well. Gordhan had previously denied any wrongdoing in the establishment of the unit.

Senior sources close to the matter said the probe is at an advanced stage with two Sars officials having turned state witnesses, the news website reported.

When approached for comment, Malaudzi denied there were any new developments in the investigation against Gordhan.

“There are no new charges that I know of,” he said.

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