Zuma throws his weight behind Gordhan

2016-10-11 20:25
President Jacob Zuma. (Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg)

President Jacob Zuma. (Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg)

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma threw his weight behind Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday and asked that the matter be handled with dignity and respect.

"Our society is anchored on the rule of law as well as fair and just judicial processes," said Zuma.

"In this regard, Minister Gordhan is innocent until and unless proven otherwise by a court of law. This is a fundamental pillar of our constitutional democracy and the rule of law."

His office said Zuma reaffirmed his support for Gordhan and felt the charges come at a "sensitive" time.

"The president has reaffirmed his support for the minister and added that the decision by the NPA came at the most sensitive time for the country when Minister Gordhan was successfully leading initiatives towards economic revival, bringing together business, government and labour in efforts to reignite growth so that jobs can be saved and created," the presidency said.

Gordhan and former colleagues deputy SA Revenue Services (SARS) commissioner Ivan Pillay and former commissioner Oupa Magashula must appear in court on November 2 to face fraud charges relating to Pillay's early retirement and pension benefits he was allegedly not entitled to.

This was announced by National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams at a press conference earlier on Tuesday.

Gordhan's office was appalled by the way it was handled and has indicated that the minister will not resign and will carry on working with the Treasury team to present the "mini budget" on October 26.

It considers the charges as "contaminated" with political abuse of power.

Read more on:    npa  |  sars  |  oupa magashula  |  ivan pillay  |  jacob zuma  |  pravin gordhan
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