FUL and Helen Suzman Foundation apply to have Gordhan charges quashed

2016-10-23 13:46
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (City Press)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (City Press)

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Johannesburg - Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation said on Sunday that they had applied to court to have criminal charges against Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, quashed.

“This morning, attorneys acting for Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation served an urgent application to have the recent criminal charges against…Gordhan set aside,” the organisations said in a joint statement.

“This is after we invited NDPP Shaun Abrahams to furnish us with more information about the charges, or to withdraw them voluntarily. He failed to do this, despite being given a week’s notice.”

 The organisation said the charges were “obviously without foundation...

“Relating to the early retirement and subsequent re-employment of Ivan Pillay, a former Deputy Commissioner of SARS, they are completely invalid, both legally and on any plausible reading of the facts.”

Instead, the organisations suggested on Sunday, the decision to charge revealed a “dizzying incompetence” at the NPA and Hawks.

“At worst, they confirm our suspicions: that the criminal justice system is being undermined to serve particular political interests.”

The organisations said their application was not aimed to protect particular individuals or take sides in “factional battles…

“It is about protecting the machinery of the state from being undermined for malign purposes, thereby also preventing further damage to our fragile economy at a sensitive time.”

The National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Ahrahams announced last week on Tuesday that Gordhan, former deputy SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay and former SARS commissioner Oupa Magashula, would be charged with fraud relating to Pillay’s early retirement and the extension of his contract.

They are due to appear in the Pretoria Regional Court on November 2.

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