Hawks chief Ntlemeza opts for 'silence' on any evidence against Gordhan
Berning Ntlemeza, head of the elite Hawks unit, says he does not have to reveal what evidence he has against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan
HAWKS head Berning Ntlemeza says that he is not obliged to reveal what evidence he has against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
In an interview with Gupta-owned broadcaster ANN7 on Thursday, Ntlemeza was asked to respond to accusations that the Hawks had no evidence against Gordhan in relation to what is called the SA Revenue Service’s "rogue unit".
"They don’t know what I’m having, and I’m not obliged to tell the people of this country what I’m having," he said.
"I’ve never divulged, in my career, the evidence I’m having."
Gordhan received a letter from the Hawks last month demanding that he present himself to provide the unit with a statement under warning, implying that he is a suspect and that he could be arrested.
Gordhan did not present himself to the unit, citing legal reasons and other commitments.
Since then there has been speculation about when or if Gordhan will face arrest.
Ntlemeza asked why so many people were so concerned about why the minister had not been arrested yet. "Why not ask about other high-profile people, why is that question important?"
He said South Africans could continue to speculate about the Hawks investigation.
"They will speculate until further notice, but as the Hawks we are just silent. We don’t even say anything. We are very cool minded and moving on.
"No one in this country knows what Ntlemeza is having [evidence] ... I know what I’m having, and I cannot tell people," he reiterated.
Ntlemeza denied suggestions of a political influence, saying he was a career police officer.
"I wanted to tell the people of this country, I know nothing of politics. I know the element of crime," he said.
Questions have been raised over whether Ntlemeza is fit to hold office, but Police Minister Nathi Nhleko insists he is the right person to head the Hawks.