UPDATE 2-South African finance minister issued with summons, rand plunges

PRETORIA South African prosecutors issued Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan with a formal summons on Tuesday to appear in court on Nov. 2 in relation to the granting of early retirement to a colleague, sending the rand reeling.

The currency fell as much as 3.4 percent when prosecutor Shaun Abrahams also told a news conference that Gordhan was being investigated for his role in setting up a surveillance unit at the tax department a decade ago.

Abrahams said Gordhan, in his previous role as head of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), would be charged with approving early-retirement for former tax agency deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and then re-appointing him as a consultant.

This cost the tax agency around 1.1 million rand ($79,000), in violation of public finance laws, Abrahams said.

An elite police unit known as the Hawks also has also been investigating Gordhan over the…

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