South African prosecutors issued Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan with a formal summons in relation to the establishment of a tax department investigation unit a decade ago, sending the rand reeling on Tuesday.
The currency fell as much as 3 percent when prosecutor Shaun Abrahams made his first announcement at a news conference in the capital, Pretoria.
The currency then extended its falls, trading at 14.2950 against the dollar at 0833 GMT, a 3.5 percent decline.
Gordhan, who is highly respected by financial markets, has painted the allegations about his role in establishing the special tax unit as “political mischief” but said prosecution officials delivered a summons to his house on Tuesday morning.
He was not at home at the time, he told reporters, adding that his lawyers would be issuing a statement shortly.
Abrahams denied any mischief in the handling of the case, saying the surveillance unit was set up in a “very strange manner” and had not been cleared by the national intelligence services.