The withdrawal of fraud charges by National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan does not mean he is out of the woods just yet.
City Press has established that the Hawks investigating team assigned to the alleged ‘rogue unit’ case has increased its personnel, with the intention of finding a stronger and more compelling case against Gordhan.
A highly placed Hawks member told City Press that “he (Gordhan) mustn’t think that he is off the hook.”
On Sunday City Press reported that there had been ‘informal discussions’ between Abrahams, his close allies in the National Prosecuting Authority, as well as lawyers of Gordhan and his two co-accused to drop the charges against the minister and former Sars official Ivan Pillay and former SARS commissioner Oupa Magashula.
Why the withdrawal of charges
Stating that he had reviewed the representations made by Pillay and Magashula, Abrahams said today that he was “satisfied that Mr Magashula, Mr Pillay and minister Gordhan did not have the requisite intention to act unlawfully”.
Another possible reason why the charges were dropped was due to the alleged kidnapping and assault of Sars legal services official, Vlok Symington, who prosecutors had hoped would testify in the case.
Abrahams must go
After today's announcement, Abrahams came under fire to resign from many quarters. Former treasurer general of the ANC, Mathews Phosa, launched an application to disbar the NPA head. And he was not the only one.
The EFF has also applied to the General Council of the Bar for the disbarment of Abrahams citing, among others, an improper meeting at the headquarters of the ruling political party and use of an act which is inconsistent with the Constitution.
The ANC has also issued a statement in which they reafirmed their stance saying that they always believed Gordhan was innocent.
Abrahms was asked if he would resign after this debacle. He replied with a firm no.
"I certainly do not owe anybody an apology. I certainly do not," he said.