National director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams has today written to President Jacob Zuma explaining why he should not be suspended as head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The NPA boss was alongside two others – Torie Pretorius and Sibongile Mzinyathi – given until today, November 28, to make his submissions after the NPA laid fraud charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, former senior South African Revenue Service officials Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay on October 11 and then dropped the charges on October 31.
The charges were dropped after Abrahams admitted that the NPA did not have reason to believe that the three had acted unlawfully.
Zuma wrote to Abrahams just before the decision to withdraw the charges became public.
“I hereby afford you an opportunity to make written representations as to why I should not place you on suspension pending the outcome of an inquiry into your fitness to hold office,” Zuma stated in a letter to Abrahams.
Zuma was asked to suspend Shaun Abrahams with two other senior members of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)‚ Torie Pretorius and Sibongile Mzinyathi‚ pending enquiries into their fitness to hold office.
Among those seeking Abraham’s immediate removal are Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation who sent a letter to Zuma outlining reasons why he shouldn’t be allowed to remain the NPA boss
The critics said through the baseless criminal charges against the finance minister‚ Mr. Abrahams has shown that he lacks the required conscientiousness and integrity to be entrusted with the responsibilities of the office of NDPP – in other words‚ he is not fit and proper.
“Mr. Shaun Abrahams violated the rights of the accused persons and the Minister in particular and abused his position in an attempt to use the media to influence public opinion against the accused persons and the Minister in particular”.
The president will now review Abrahams’ reasons before deciding on the fate of the NPA boss and whether an inquiry into his fitness to hold office will be necessary.