DA calls for Abrahams' head

Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance has called for NPA head Shaun Abrahams’ head, following his decision to drop criminal charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, while the African National Congress has welcomed the decision.

Abrahams on Monday announced the decision to retract the summons, a day before Gordhan and former South African Revenue Service (SARS) officials Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay were due to appear in court.

Abrahams said this was done following representations by both Magashula and Pillay.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday said the decision to drop the charges vindicated the party's position that these charges were indeed manufactured for malicious political purposes and were without merit.

"We maintain that Shaun Abrahams initiated these charges against Pravin Gordhan for narrow political purposes, and now following a lack of evidence and huge public outcry, Abrahams has been forced to make an embarrassing about-turn, leaving him with egg on his face."

No apology

READ: Why Shaun Abrahams should resign today

The National Director of Public Prosecutions could not simply say they had made a mistake and withdraw charges, Maimane said.

"The stakes are far too high to be making such unacceptable and irresponsible mistakes. Shaun Abrahams must be held responsible for this unacceptable blunder. Questions remain regarding whether this was in fact malicious prosecution, what the consequences have been on the economy, and lastly, the damage to the reputation of the Minister of Finance."

Maimane called on President Jacob Zuma to suspend Abrahams with immediate effect.

"Jacob Zuma must now act decisively, failing which we will have no option but to believe that he is behind these malicious political antics."

Abrahams told the media on Monday that the decision to prosecute Gordhan had not been made by him, and he had reviewed it when the two parties made submissions.

He did not see the need to resign over the debacle.

"Will I resign? Certainly not, certainly not. I don’t owe anyone an apology," he said.

In making his decision, he had applied his mind to the law, he said.

"Neither Pillay, Gordhan or Magashule spent a day in court," he said.

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