Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan Is Under Fire

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More Threats leveled against Finance Minister Mr Pravin Gordhan said Suspended police watchdog boss Robert McBride to be “careful” in dealing with the Hawks

“Based on the fact that we are being charged for doing our work, I will just suggest that [Gordhan] must be careful how he handles this situation,” he said.

The police unit is demanding answers from Gordhan about the “rogue unit” he allegedly set up when he was running SARS.

Speaking moments after he and two others appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice yesterday, McBride said the country’s law enforcement agencies were being manipulated.

McBride is accused of covering up the role of former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat in the illegal rendition of five Zimbabweans. Dramat resigned after being suspended from duty.

Said McBride: “There is a conspiracy. The decision to move Dramat was taken long before Dramat was even issued with the notice [of suspension]. People knew who was going to be appointed to his position before that.”

McBride said he and his co-accused, Innocent Khuba, were asked on four occasions by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to falsely implicate Dramat in the renditions.

He said this was an “indication of the level to which members of the Gestapo wing of the Hawks can stoop”.

McBride said the law enforcement agencies were politically compromised.

“This is the Hawks now,” he said.

He said the way in which the juridical authorities manipulated processes “to make things go their way is quite frightening”.

McBride said he and his co-accused wanted their court appearance to be as soon as possible because they were “dying to see what evidence there is, dying to see the witnesses which we now know do not exist”.

He said the court had not prohibited him or his co-accused from contacting witnesses in the case when they were given bail of R1500.

He said this indicated that there were no witnesses.

McBride claimed that his prosecution was a “ruse”, and assigning the investigation to the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State unit was to “add gravitas to a non-offence”.

The three accused will be back in court on April 15.

Dramat was accused of being involved in the illegal rendition in 2010.

McBride allegedly changed an Independent Police Investigative Directorate report that implicated Dramat in the renditions in order to protect him.

McBride stands by his decision to clear Dramat, saying it was based on the emergence of new and contradictory evidence.

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