WATCH: 'There's not a tittle of evidence against Gordhan': Kriegler


Pretoria, 25 August 2016 - Former Constitutional Court judge Johann Kriegler and advocate George Bizos at the Hawks head office in Pretoria.

PRETORIA - Members of civil society, a church delegation and veteran human rights advocate George Bizos have gathered outside the Hawks offices in Pretoria in support of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and other former Sars officials.

Former Constitutional Court and Appeal Court judge Johann Kriegler is also at the gathering.

"Essentially we are here to show our solidarity with people who we regard to be good loyal public servants throughout their lives who are being victimised for reasons which are sinister.

"I’m convinced that there’s not a tittle of evidence against Minister Gordhan," said Kriegler.

On Tuesday the Hawks requested the minister, former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and Johann van Loggerenberg, former Sars group executive: tax and customs enforcement investigations, to present themselves to the Hawks on Thursday to complete warning statements.

This was regarding their involvement in the establishment of the so-called rogue unit at Sars.

On Wednesday night Gordhan said he would not be presenting himself to the Hawks, based on advice from his lawyers.

"I remain committed to assist the Hawks in any bona-fide investigation as stated in my statement.

"I have a job to do in a difficult economic environment and serve South Africa as best I can.

"Let me do my job," said Gordhan.

LISTEN: Full statement from Pravin Gordhan

Advocate George Bizos also appeared at the Hawks head office, visibly emotional about the situation.

Bizos said this cause was important to him because part of his job as a lawyer is to ensure that the law is in accordance with justice.

"We are concerned about the future of justice and law in South Africa.

"Judge Kriegler and many others, like the Helen Suzman Foundation, have fought apartheid for many years.

"We are concerned that the events of the past are being repeated.

"Now we stand by the minister of finance, we hope that the people of South Africa will stand by him and that this prosecution is nipped in the bud," said Bizos.

EXPLORE: An interactive timeline of the troubles at the Treasury

One of the activists, Mark Heywood from Section27, said Gordhan is clearly being harassed.

Thursday’s show of force is also aimed at defending the independence of institutions like Sars and the Public Protector&39;s office.

Paid Content