'Gordhan does not believe Abrahams would give him a fair hearing in review'

Cape Town - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will not be making representations to NPA head Shaun Abrahams, his lawyers said on Friday.

This after Abrahams told Parliament's justice committee that he was willing to review the decision to prosecute Gordhan if approached to do so.

On the advice of his lawyers, the minister has decided against making representations to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

"The main reason for his decision is that he does not have any confidence in the NDPP's ability or willingness to afford him a fair hearing. First, we repeatedly asked the NPA to afford the minister an opportunity to make representations to them before they decided whether to prosecute the minister, but they spurned our requests," Tebogo Malatji said on behalf of Gordhan on Friday.

When announcing his decision to charge Gordhan, Abrahams had been clear on his commitment to the prosecution, the law firm said.

"Having now had an opportunity to study the charges against the minister, it is also clear to us that they manifest a resolute and not well-founded determination to prosecute the minister at all costs. Any representations to the NDPP would accordingly be pointless."

More could be charged

The minister intended to bring the matter to an expedited finality, they said.

On Wednesday Abrahams told Parliament's justice committee that while he was not the one who made the decision to prosecute Gordhan, he was willing to review any matter if Gordhan or his co-accused asked him to do so.

Abrahams also said more people could be charged.

Abrahams and his team were presenting their annual report to Parliament's justice committee when he was hit with questions about the saga.

"If I am requested to review the decision of the special director of prosecutions made in consultation with the DPP I will certainly give effect to the provisions made in section 22 of the NPA Act," he told the committee.

Section 22 of the National Prosecuting Authority Act states that the national director "may review a decision to prosecute or not to prosecute, after consulting the relevant director and after taking representations, within the period specified by the national director, of the accused person, the complainant and any other person or party whom the national director considers to be relevant".

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