AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - The Jesuits denounce the political use of the police against the Minister of Finance

Friday, 26 August 2016 politics   justice  

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "The Jesuit Institute South Africa is seriously concerned with, what appears to be, the continued harassment by the HAWKS of the Minister of Finance, Mr. Pravin Gordhan", said a statement sent to Agenzia Fides. The Hawks have an investigative department of the South African Police, specialized in organized crime and financial crimes.
Gordhan was summoned by the Hawks for questioning in an investigation into alleged abuse by its intelligence unit of the Ministry of Finance to collect financial information on several politicians, including President Jacob Zuma.
The Jesuits, after having recalled that the announcement of the convening of the Minister caused a fall of the South African credit rating (the financial evaluation on the reliability of the Country), "with devastatimg consequences especially the poorest of the poor", claim "that in the latest developments the HAWKS have reinforced the impression that they are being used as political proxies by President Zuma and/or those connected to the President in their battle for unrestricted access to state funds, particularly in connection to the nuclear procurement deal and South African Airways".
The Jesuits also point out that Zuma had fired the former Minister of Finance, Nhlanha Nene (see Fides 17/12/2015), "with heavy consequences on the economy". "Once again President Zuma’s government displays a leadership which is self-serving. It does not care about the common good. To step in now, Mr. President, and end this racket and put the country’s struggling economy first, may be your last opportunity to show that you are concerned about the common good", the statement concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/08/2016)