Over 15 000 firms support Gordhan - Employers' Association

Johannesburg - Support for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is growing as the CEO of the National Employers' Association of South Africa (NEASA) has thrown his weight behind him as he faces fraud charges.

Earlier this month, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams announced that Gordhan has been ordered to appear before court on a charge related to the early retirement of former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

The announcement sent shockwaves through South Africa’s business community and civil society, with the rand plummeting on the announcement. Legal experts have also questioned the strength of the NPA’s case amid allegations of political interference.

On the weekend, 81 CEOs also pledged their support for Gordhan. And now the NEASA CEO Gerhard Papenfus has also expressed support for the minister.

NAMED: The 81 CEOs who pledged support for Gordhan

“It is seldom happening that, within the context of a country, so much depends on one man. South Africa finds itself at such a point in its history and you, minister, are that man,” said Papenfus in an open letter of support to Gordhan on Tuesday.

“Minister, thank you for the position you have taken up to form a stronghold against the forces which have no regard for the interests of South Africa, and who are therefore hell-bent on, not only destroying your reputation, but removing you from office, with the clear intention to have unhindered access to our resources.

“As a matter of interest, minister, before submitting this letter to you, we ran the issue of support for you past our circle of influence. Within a couple of days, over 15 000 businesses and individuals have expressed support for you,” said Papenfus.

Apart from NEASA and the business community, ANC members such as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and even the ruling party’s chief whip Jackson Mthembu have declared support for Gordhan.

The calls of support come as Gordhan is set to deliver National Treasury’s medium term budget in Parliament on Wednesday.

READ: What will happen if SA is effectively captured?

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