South African finance minister says spy unit was legal

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South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan said a spy unit formed under his watch as the head of tax revenue agency was lawful and part of an enforcement strategy by the authority.

Gordhan’s remarks on the unit, set up in 2007, was the latest chapter in a public spat between the Treasury and the police that escalated after Zuma’s shuffling of finance ministers in December.

Zuma sacked Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister at that time and replaced him with an unknown back-bencher.

That move sparked a sharp sell-off of South African assets forcing Zuma to rescind his move three days later and install Gordhan.

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