South Africa’s National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has announced its withdrawal of charges against Gordhan and former South African Revenue Service (SARS) officials Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay.
The national authority announced this On Monday Morning through its boss, Shaun Abrahams, saying the court summon against the minister and the rest have been withdrawn.
Shaun Abrahams said in a letter to Gordhan’s attorney on Monday that after “perusal” of the matter he had decided to “overrule the decision” to prosecute the minister.
He also said in the letter that had directed that the summons against Gordhan be withdrawn with “immediate effect”.
Pravin Gordhan was issued with a summons after being charged with fraud in relation to former SARS deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement. At his announcement on Tuesday, October 11, Abrahams outlined in detail why the NPA considered “clandestine and covert operations of the said unit” unlawful and added that only the President of South Africa had the authority to sign off an intelligence structure, and there was no evidence Former President Thabo Mbeki authorised the unit.
At his announcement on Tuesday, October 11, Abrahams outlined in detail why the NPA considered “clandestine and covert operations of the said unit” unlawful and added that only the President of South Africa had the authority to sign off an intelligence structure, and there was no evidence Former President Thabo Mbeki authorised the unit.
Abrahams has since his announcement of the fraud ad theft charges against Gordhan, come under intense pressure as many viewed his announcement as an attempt to help Zuma and his cronies to unseat the minister.
The pressure exacerbated when it emerged in media reports that Abrahams had met President Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House, a day before he announced that Gordhan had been summonsed.
The meeting fuelled speculation that the case against Gordhan was politically motivated despite Abrahams and the Presidency saying it was held to discuss the ongoing tertiary education funding crisis.
The court hearing was before Shaun Abrahams’s latest announcement, scheduled for November 2.
Meanwhile, a source close to Gordhan revealed first on Sunday that the charges against Gordhan could be dropped anytime from Monday so as to avert a protest march planned coincide with Gordhan’s court appearance in which ANC members, leaders and stalwarts were set to participate.
The campaign, billed as a “people’s assembly against state capture” sought for about 80 of the country’s CEOs with some attorneys and legal professionals participate.
Save South Africa however said on Monday that it would proceed with the march and its campaign against state capture even if the charges against Gordhan were withdrawn.
“It will be a rally marking victory in this battle and consolidating the campaign against state capture, to stop the looting and corruption and restore the integrity of the state,” campaign organisers said in a statement.
The DA had earlier called on Abrahams to “do the right thing and withdraw the charges against Gordhan and his former South African Revenue Service deputies Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay. The party added that he should ‘resign’ after doing so.