Days of not holding govt officials accountable are over - NPA boss

2016-10-11 12:32
Shaun Abrahams.

Shaun Abrahams. (File photo)

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Pretoria - NPA boss Shaun Abrahams on Tuesday lambasted those questioning his decision to prosecute Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on fraud charges.

"What if this decision was made by a judge or the Public Protector?" he asked.

"The days of disrespecting the NPA are over. The days of not holding senior government officials accountable are over."

Last week, the Constitutional Court refused to hear the National Prosecuting Authority’s application for leave to appeal against the order to reinstate corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma.

In April, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the 783 fraud, racketeering, and corruption charges against Zuma should be reinstated.

Abrahams said on Tuesday that he did not find himself in an awkward position over the Gordhan matter, and that he would not resign if the prosecution did not succeed.

He said the purpose of Tuesday's media briefing was to set out the lawfulness of the Sars "rogue unit" and its work, although he said Gordhan was not being charged in relation to the rogue unit.

He was being charged with fraud because of the terms Gordhan and former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula agreed to for Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay's retirement.

Abrahams said Magashula, the finance officer at the time, had caused the revenue service an unnecessary expense.

At the time of Tuesdays’ announcement, Gordhan was attending an open tender seminar in Midrand.

He said his lawyers would issue a statement later. He was due to deliver his medium-term budget policy statement, or mini-budget, on October 26.

“South Africans must ask who the Hawks are really serving,” Gordhan said.

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

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