NGOs drop their case against the NPA

2016-10-31 13:41
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File)

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Johannesburg - Following the withdrawal of charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation will no longer be pursuing their case against the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Last week the two organisations served an urgent application to have the charges against Gordhan set aside.

The organisations said the charges were obviously without foundation.

"At best, the charges reveal dizzying incompetence at the NPA and the Hawks. At worst, they confirm our suspicions: That the criminal justice system is being undermined to serve particular political interests," the two organisations said at the time.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams said it was in this application that the NPA was made aware of a legal opinion in 2009 by senior Sars employee Vlok Symington that the early retirement of deputy commissioner of Sars Ivan Pillay was above board.

Ongoing vigilance

READ: Why Shaun Abrahams should resign today

Abrahams said Symington's opinion showed there was no intent to commit fraud by Gordhan, former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula and Pillay.

It was made public last week that Symington was allegedly held hostage by Hawks' officers after he was mistakenly given a document containing an emailed opinion of a Sars lawyer in which the lawyer states that he holds a different opinion to the Hawks in the case against Gordhan.

Piet Olivier from the Helen Suzman Foundation said the NPA's dropping of the charges obviated the need for them to continue their case against the institution.

"Abrahams mentioned that the decision to drop the charges came about because of our correspondence with him, which we are very happy about," said Olivier.

He said the Helen Suzman Foundation would keep an ongoing vigilance "that this kind of abuse of power does not happen again".

Read more on:    helen suzman foundation  |  npa  |  freedom under law  |  pravin gordhan  |  judiciary

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