Gordhan says he will do all he can to fight 'frivolous' fraud charges

Cape Town – Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said he would use every possible legal channel at his disposal to fight the fraud charges brought against him.

“I want to say that the charges that were brought against me don’t constitute fraud. The charges are frivolous and bring into question the legitimacy of the announcements the National Prosecuting Authority has made.”

He continued: “You’ll hear more about this. Activists don’t sit down when injustice is done. This is still a noisy democracy but one that has a wonderful future ahead.“

Gordhan was addressing conference delegates attending the Thomson Reuters Africa Summit in Cape Town live through Skype.

He said his main job is still to be finance minister of South Africa, and he has every intention of delivering the mini budget on October 26.

“We are two weeks away from presenting our mini budget to government,” Gordhan said. “And I have every intention of delivering the MTBPS (medium-term budget policy statement) on October 26.”

Gordhan repeated a previous utterance, saying that he serves “at the pleasure of President Jacob Zuma”. “I must not be unmindful of that,” he added.

Watch: NPA charges don't constitute fraud, says Gordhan

Turning to the economy, Gordhan said the key concerns in South Africa are not just fiscal consolidation and debt pictures which the rating agencies will be watching out for.

“But the talent, diversity and passion among different sectors of South Africa, including an ever more active civil society, count in South Africa’s favour.

"Ratings agencies should see a different mood in our country - one that is intolerant of corruption and trying to do the right thing.”

Gordhan believes South Africa has every chance of achieving growth beyond 1% if it commits itself to the 9 point plan, and grows in an inclusive way so that gross domestic product figures can pick up and historically marginalised people can believe they have a stake in the economy. 

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