Hawks ac­cuse Gord­han of cor­rup­tion over pen­sion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

CAPE TOWN — The po­lice’s Direc­torate for Pri­or­ity Crime In­ves­ti­ga­tion (the Hawks) accuses Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han of act­ing cor­ruptly by grant­ing early re­tire­ment to the for­mer deputy head of Sars, Ivan Pil­lay.

In a letter sent by the Hawks to Gord­han on Mon­day, Ma­jorGen­eral MS Led­waba states that Gord­han’s al­leged ac­tions “amount to” unau­tho­rised ex­pen­di­ture and/or fruit­less and waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture in terms of the Pub­lic Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act and cor­rup­tion in terms of the Pre­ven­tion of Cor­rupt Ac­tiv­i­ties Act.

This is the first time it has been re­vealed that the law en­force­ment agen­cies are in­ves­ti­gat­ing Gord­han for cor­rup­tion.

In his letter, Led­waba writes that Gord­han (as fi­nance min­is­ter) had “ap­proved that then deputy com­mis­sion of Sars, Ivan Pil­lay, could take early re­tire­ment at 56 with full re­tire­ment ben­e­fits” from 1 Au­gust 2010 and that his em­ployer should pay his early re­tire­ment penalty to the amount of R1 258 359 “de­spite the early re­tire­ment be­ing for per­sonal con­sid­er­a­tions of the em­ployee when or­di­nar­ily the em­ployee must pay the early re­tire­ment penalty in terms of the law”.

Led­waba says Gord­han also ap­proved the reap­point­ment of Pil­lay as deputy com­mis­sioner on a con­tract ba­sis for a fur­ther three years.

The Hawks are fur­ther in­ves­ti­gat­ing Gord­han for the cre­ation of an in­tel­li­gence unit in­side Sars.

In a letter by Gord­han’s lawyer Te­bogo Malatji to the Hawks, the fi­nance min­is­ter slams the Hawks’ claims as “un­founded”.

“The of­fence of cor­rup­tion (un­der the Act) in the first place re­quires that the per­pe­tra­tor ‘gives or agrees or of­fers to give to any other per­son any grat­i­fi­ca­tion’. The min­is­ter did not give or agree to give grat­i­fi­ca­tion to any­body. He merely gave of­fi­cial ap­proval to the pro­posal of the com­mis­sioner that Sars al­low Mr Pil­lay to take early re­tire­ment and be re-appointed.”

Malatji’s letter con­tin­ues: “The giv­ing of grat­i­fi­ca­tion in any event does not amount to cor­rup­tion in it­self. It is cor­rupt only if the grat­i­fi­ca­tion is given to the re­cip­i­ent ‘in or­der to act, per­son­ally or by in­flu­enc­ing an­other per­son so to act’, in an un­law­ful man­ner.

“There has never been any sug­ges­tion that the min­is­ter ap­proved the com­mis­sioner’s pro­posal that Mr Pil­lay be al­lowed to take early re­tire­ment and be re-appointed to per­suade him to act un­law­fully in any way.” — Sapa

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