Ramaphosa offers 'moral and political support' to Gordhan

By Drum Digital
16 October 2016

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa became the third member of the executive who publicly announced support for embattled Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who faces charges of fraud and theft.

In a statement issued early on Sunday, Ramaphosa said he offers his “moral and political support” to Gordhan in view of the legal processes unfolding around him and in light of preparations to deliver the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday October 26 2016.

Earlier, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism, also came out in support of Gordhan.

“Events of the past few days regarding summonses served on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan have been of concern to many South Africans across all sectors of society,” said Ramaphosa.

“As a member of the National Executive, I lend my support to Minister Gordhan as he faces charges brought against him by the National Prosecuting Authority. I have known and worked with Minister Gordhan both in government and during the days of the prosecution of the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist democratic society.

“I therefore wish Minister Gordhan well as he prepares to deliver the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement and hope that this challenge will not distract him from focusing on this important national task.”

Ramaphosa said he has no doubts about Gordhan’s “commitment in building a better South Africa for all”. He stressed though that like all South Africans, Gordhan remains subject to the laws of the country, and retains his right to remain silent, to be free from abuse of process, and to a legal defence.

Ramaphosa continued, saying he is “fully cognisant” of the role that the NPA has to play in building a democratic society.

“In this regard, we respect the constitutional mandate that the NPA has to discharge without fear, favour or prejudice. This mandate has to be balanced against the constitutional rights of all individuals, including the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.”

Ramaphosa called upon South Africans to demonstrate unity in defence of constitutional values, the integrity of our legal system and the objective of setting South Africa on a path of sustainable and inclusive economic growth that will help us overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality.

“In this regard and whatever the legal challenges that Minister Gordhan may face, we must not undermine the work that the government jointly with leaders of business and labour have been doing to stimulate domestic and international investment in our economy and have yielded impressive outcomes across a range of industrial sectors,” Ramaphosa said.

“Accordingly we must conduct ourselves in ways that will uphold our constitutional values and maintain South Africa’s good reputation internationally.

“The forthcoming Medium Term Budget Policy Statement later this month is an important opportunity for us to assess economic conditions in the country and to reassure the investor community that South Africa remains a preferred destination for investments.”

Source: News24

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