Gordhan fraud charges could be dropped this week: report

Fraud charges against finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his former colleagues at SARS could be dropped in the coming week, as the NPA and the minister’s lawyers engage in “informal discussions” over the matter,  the City Press reports.

According to the paper, different sources from both camps have confirmed that NPA head Shaun Abrahams has been in contact with Gordhan’s lawyers, communicating his intentions to drop the case.

Gordhan, former SARS commissioner Oupa Magashula and his deputy Ivan Pillay are to appear in court on 2 November on charges of fraud relating to the granting of early retirement for Pillay, and then the renewal of his contract for five more years.

The City Press reports that a draft letter by Abrahams says that he had considered representations made by Magashula and Pillay, and decided not to move ahead with the prosecution.

The sources within Gordhan’s camp said that they would “believe it when (they) see it”, however. Officially, the NPA denies having made any decision, saying only that it is still considering the matter, the paper reported.

Abrahams, the NPA and the Hawks have been criticized by business leaders, politicians and the wider public for pursuing a case of fraud against the finance minister, on what appears to be a weak, politically-motivated basis.

Over 80 business leaders have come out in support of Gordhan in the saga, with 101 ANC stalwarts joining the  backing of the minister.

Evidence presented to the court this week, showing that Gordhan, Pillay and Magashula had acted on legal advice over the issue, make an already difficult charge of fraud nearly impossible to prove in court.

You can read the full story in the City Press for 30 October 2016

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Gordhan fraud charges could be dropped this week: report