Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) aired its concern on Wednesday about former finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s alleged victimisation by the Hawks.
It called on the Hawks to confirm whether they are indeed investigating Gordhan.
“The business community has lost confidence that the SA Revenue Service (SARS), the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) are independent and are acting without fear or favour,” said BLSA.
It explained that rumours currently circulating about Gordhan and the Hawks, raise the same concerns as a year ago, when the priority crime investigation directorate also questioned the former minister.
It cited the 2016 Hawks investigation when the unit and the NPA considered charging Gordhan, but ended up withdrawing charges.
This raised questions about whether targeting Gordhan was politically motivated, thereby undermining public trust and business confidence in these key institutions of state, according to BLSA.
The BLSA said suspicions raised by the “surprising and unexplained” senior personnel changes announced last week at Treasury added to fears about the politicisation of this key institution.
It wants the Hawks to explain why they have chosen to focus on Gordhan in the midst of evidence of corruption contained in the #GuptaLeaks.
“Business is committed to driving inclusive growth and transformation in SA,” said BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale. “The recent launch of our Contract with South Africa is evidence of our intention to make a difference, underpinning our status as patriotic South Africans.”
Mohale said this could only be done if the government helped to provide an enabling environment, with sound policies aimed at the betterment of all in society.
“Corruption and state capture, unfortunately, are cancers which damage all in society, especially the poorest,” said Mohale.
BLSA said the current environment has forced the organistion to speak out about these latest developments.
“The independence of these key institutions of state is central to the rule of law, without which business cannot drive the prosperity SA so urgently requires,” Mohale said.