Resist move to suspend or remove Gordhan – Section 27

2016-10-13 11:00
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File)

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Johannesburg – The road taken by President Jacob Zuma and his supporters will lead to economic collapse, human rights group Section 27 has said.

"South Africa is today at a crossroads. The charging of Pravin Gordhan with fraud threatens to pitch us into a political and economic crisis which will cause untold pain, new poverty and inequality," it said in a statement this week.

The advocacy group expressed support for the finance minister and said Zuma’s actions could lead to the suspension of the Constitution, and turn the country into a police state.

The NPA announced on Tuesday that Gordhan, former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, and former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula would face a charge of fraud relating to a R1.1m early retirement payout to Pillay in 2010, and the subsequent extension of his contract.

'Defending our democracy'

Gordhan spent the better part of 2016 embroiled in public spats with the Hawks over an investigative unit set up during his tenure as Sars commissioner between 1999 and 2009.

Section 27 said the country needed to deepen its democracy, protect the Constitution, and ensure it was used to help the poor and marginalised.

"That road starts with the question of whether we are willing to resist a criminal clique who has captured parts of our state. It starts with defending our democracy against a president who has rubbished its letter and spirit."

What was required was for the majority of honest South Africans to choose an alternative from the status quo.

ANC leaders on the frontline

Section 27 said many ANC leaders would likely be asked to legitimise efforts to remove Gordhan as finance minister.

"We ask you to exercise your conscience, demonstrate your loyalty to the Constitution and refuse to obey these unlawful orders. We ask you to not obey orders. That is the command that Chris Hani, OR Tambo, and Nelson Mandela would have given you."

The charges against Gordhan, Magashula, and Pillay were not due to violations of the law, but were an abuse of the rule of law, the organisation said.



Read more on:    sars  |  hawks  |  pravin gordhan  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg

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