Battle lines drawn as Abrahams briefs media on Gordhan

2016-10-31 10:17
NPA boss Shaun Abrahams (File)

NPA boss Shaun Abrahams (File) (File photo)

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Pretoria - NPA head Shaun Abrahams is expected to announce the next steps in the case against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan at a 10:30 briefing on Monday morning.

This comes amid pressure and allegations that politics are at play in the case against Gordhan, former Sars boss Oupa Magashula and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

Abrahams announced on October 11 that the three have been summoned to court on fraud charges relating to Pillay's early retirement, approved by Gordhan and Magashula in 2010.

However, days after the announcement, Abrahams told members of Parliament that the NPA would be willing to review the charges and invited the three to make representations.

Gordhan declined the offer but Magashula and Pillay went ahead and made representations.

Freedom under Law has launched a legal bid to have the charges dropped, labelling them flimsy and without bases.

Support for Gordhan

READ: Is Pravin off the hook?

Other legal analysts have argued that if there was any wrongdoing it was an administrative matter rather than a criminal case.

The ANC's alliance partner, the SA Communist Party, has also called for a commission of inquiry into Abrahams' fitness to hold office - saying it the charges appear to be politically motivated.

They have also questioned why Abrahams spent much time talking about the investigation into the alleged Sars rogue unit the day of the initial briefing only to charge Gordhan with fraud relating to early pension pay out.

Last week, more questions around the investigation arose, when a video emerged of a senior Sars official being forced by the Hawks to hand over documents linked to Gordhan's charges.

Deputy director for law administration Vlok Symington allegedly accidentally received a key document linked to the fraud case. He claims he was held hostage by the Hawks' senior officials and Sars commissioner Tom Moyane's bodyguard.

There has been a groundswell of support for Gordhan since the charges were announced. More than a hundred ANC veterans have released a statement backing Gordhan. The Economic Freedom Fighters have also rallied for thousands to march on Wednesday when he is due to appear in court.

Gordhan has also received support from Cabinet colleagues including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Read more on:    npa  |  sars  |  pravin gordhan  |  shaun abrahams  |  state capture  |  judiciary

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