South Africa’s elite Hawks police unit has no plans to arrest Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as part of an investigation into a surveillance unit set up by the revenue service during his time in charge, a spokesman said on Monday.
Gordhan, who was reinstated as finance minister in December, had said last week that a newspaper report of his imminent arrest was an attack on the Treasury.
“He is not a suspect,” Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi told Reuters, adding that the unit was not singling out Gordhan in its investigation of the surveillance unit.
The Hawks is investigating a surveillance unit within the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Mulaudzi said. Gordhan headed the SARS between 1999 to 2009.
The Sunday Independent reported at the weekend that Hawks chief Berning Ntlemeza had sent Gordhan’s lawyers a letter to reassure him he would not be arrested.
The rand firmed shortly after the news that the Hawks was not planning to arrest Gordhan, rising 0.28 percent to 15.5930.
The currency had weakened last Monday to a two-month low after the newspaper report citing Gordhan’s arrest. The report was denied by the presidency, police and prosecutors.