Cape Town - The Small Business Institute will not accept the resignation of its board member Ivan Pillay, saying in a statement on Thursday that it questions the motives of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams.
Pillay is the institute’s director of government liaison, a post that entails cutting down on bureaucracy and red tape, and easing access to markets for small businesses.
Pillay and former SARS colleagues Andries Janse van Rensburg and Johann van Loggerenberg briefly appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court earlier in the week on charges of the illegally interception of communications and corruption relating to the alleged installation of cameras at the offices of the NPA.
The institute said that, while it would normally accept the resignation of a board member who is facing criminal charges, it questioned the intention behind the charges.
“[…] in the continuing political climate of diversion, retribution, and gaslighting, we question the motives of the NPA Chief Abrahams; recoil from the absence of due process; and note Mr Pillay’s well-documented record as a committed public servant who helped bring white-collar criminals to book while at SARS, saving hundreds of millions of taxpayer rands,” it said.
The institute aims to grow small businesses and boost employment in South Africa, by lobbying for policies that help small and medium-sized enterprises grow.
“Mr Pillay’s current endeavour for the SBI and South Africa’s small and medium-sized enterprises, examining where government red tape is strangling entrepreneurial endeavor, is extremely valuable. We hope he will see fit to continue this work, we do not expect the claims against him to be substantiated and we will support him until the unlikely event they are.”
* SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.