NEWS
31/08/2017 06:08 SAST | Updated 31/08/2017 10:18 SAST

Manuel And Moleketi Subpoenaed By Hawks: Are The Hawks Going After Gordhan Again?

Reports that the Hawks are still investigating the so-called Sunday Evenings project has led to fears that Gordhan is being targeted.

Trevor Manuel speaks during a press conference. 
Photo:  JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images
JOHN THYS via Getty Images
Trevor Manuel speaks during a press conference. Photo: JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, his predecessor, Trevor Manuel and Manuel's deputy, Jabu Moleketi, have been subpoenaed in a matter dubbed "Sunday Evenings", Business Day reported on Thursday.

Late on Wednesday night, News24 reported that Manuel and Moleketi were asked to provide affidavits by Friday, explaining allegations that the so-called 'Rogue Unit' within the South African Revenue Service (SARS) spied on politicians – allegations linked to 'Sunday Evenings'.

The affidavits were reportedly ordered by a judge.

The resuscitation of the investigation into rogue unit has raised fears that the developments are a forerunner to moves to recharge Gordhan, who has been increasingly critical of government. Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Malaudzi told Business Day that there were no new charges against Gordhan.

Manuel told News24 he had been subpoenaed by the Hawks while Moleketi was unavailable for comment.

"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 reportedly said.

The investigation allegedly involves the bugging of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) offices by two Sars officials, supposedly part of the 'rogue unit'. Senior sources told Business Day the investigation was at an advanced stage with two Sars officials having turned state witness.

Gordhan was initially pursued by the Hawks over the allegations but eventually only charged with an administrative irregularity over the pension of former deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay. The charges against Gordhan were later dropped.

While Gordhan reportedly did not want to comment on the Sunday Evenings allegations, he said there was a "well—orchestrated campaign" against him and Treasury by the "Gupta syndicate", "to launch attacks through the abuse of state institutions on those opposed to corruption and working for the renewal of the ANC."