(Adds Hawks quote, details)
JOHANNESBURG Feb 27 South Africa's Hawks elite
police unit said on Monday it is not investigating Deputy
Minister Mcebisi Jonas, but only making enquiries at this stage
over claims that he was part of a probe into allegations of
corruption at state-owned South African Airways (SAA).
City Press newspaper reported on Sunday the Hawks is
investigating allegations that Jonas used his political
influence to secure U.S. aircraft company AAR Corp contracts to
supply components and tyres to the state airline.
"For now that investigation is still at an enquiry level and
once we pick up anything then a case docket will then be opened.
There is not even a case docket," Hawks spokesman Hangwani
Mulaudzi told Reuters.
"We don't want to even suggest that the minister is being
investigated or anything. We are not party to that," he said.
Jonas has been an outspoken critic of government corruption
and he opened divides within the ruling African National
Congress last year when he said businessmen friends of President
Jacob Zuma said they could secure him the finance ministry job.
Zuma and the Indian Gupta family deny any wrongdoing.
An investigation last year by the Hawks into Finance
Minister Pravin Gordhan, which was later dropped, shook South
Africa's financial markets.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia)