Rand tanks as Gordhan summonsed on fraud charges

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan has been issued with a summons on charges of fraud, according to EWN, relating to the early retirement of his former deputy, Ivan Pillay.

EWN is reporting that it has received word that Gordhan will face charges of fraud along with Pillay and former commissioner Oupa Magashula.

By 10:40am, the rand dropped by more than 3.5%, to R14.29 following the news.

The charges follow a long silence from the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority, after it was revealed in August that the finance minister faced possible charges of corruption relating to Pillay’s early retirement.

Earlier this year, the Hawks summoned Gordhan and his co-accused to appear at its offices for a warning statement.

Gordhan declined, and put the ball firmly in the court of the crime unit to either arrest him, or leave him be.

A docket was subsequently handed to the National Prosecuting Authority soon thereafter.

According to the NPA at the time, there was no timeline in place to determine whether the minister will be formally charged or not.

The Hawks believe Gordhan contravened sections of the Public Finance Management Act, the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act as well as the National Strategic Intelligence Act.

The special investigations unit has also accused the finance minister of setting up an investigation unit within Sars which gathered, collected and evaluated intelligence.

Gordhan has denied any and all wrongdoing, and several legal experts have said that the investigation unit simply has no case against the minister.

Political insiders and economists see the Hawks’ campaign against Gordhan as a political play by president Jacob Zuma and his supporters to get the minister out of Treasury, as part of a bid to completely capture state finances.

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Rand tanks as Gordhan summonsed on fraud charges