Warning statement was optional, says Gordan's lawyer

There have been reports that the Hawks are preparing to arrest Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for failing to present himself to the Hawks to receive a warning statement.

Despite the dire effects on the economy following the Hawks actions there has been criticism from some quarters that the Minister is being obstructionist.

He has released a statement through his lawyers Gildenhuys Malatji, clarifying his position. It says Gordhan has in fact acted in accordance with the law, and has fully and comprehensively answered all the questions by the Hawks in relation to the controversial spy unit set up by Sars.

EWN reporter Gia Niccolaides spoke to Gordhan's lawyer Tebogo Milatji earlier today.

There is a perception out there that he is acting as though he is above the law... and the fact is not all of the facts are before an ordinary South African citizen.

Tebogo Milatji, Pravin Gordhan's lawyer from Gildenhuys Milatji

Milatjie says Gordhan has obeyed the law and co-operated with the Hawks and says this is an important message to clarify by his legal team, rather than another press release.

Niccolaides says Milatjie explained that a warning statement was not required by law, and it is merely an opportunity afforded to a suspect to give his or her side of the story. It is entirely optional.

It is a warning to a suspect that they have the right to remain silent.

Niccolaides says the lawyer stated that it was "absurd to invite the Minister to make a warning statement, when he had already given a full account of his side of the story."

She says the lawyers have also raised concerns about the discourteous manner in which the Hawks have handled this entire matter, issuing the letter last week on short notice with no warning.

The letter was also released to the media, and Malatjie says the hawks did nothing to dampen the media frenzy.

He says it would be unnecessary to arrest him, and if deemed appropriate he could easily be summoned to court.

Meanwhile the Minister will continue with his daily duties, says Gordhan's lawyer.

Listen to the full interview below:


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