ANC notes decision to summons Finance Minister Gordhan, urges cooperation

African News Agency (ANA)

ANC notes decision to summons Finance Minister Gordhan, urges cooperation
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The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday said it noted the announcement by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to summons the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan to appear in court on fraud charges in relation to the investigation at the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Former Sars employees Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay have also been issued with summons to appear in court along with Gordhan.

ANC National Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said: “This investigation and related, untested and mischievous ‘conspiracy theories’ has had a detrimental effect on the South African economy and we trust that today’s announcement will move us a step closer to uncovering the truth from facts and bring this matter to finality”.

Kodwa said the ANC welcomes remarks by the Head of the NPA, Advocate Shaun Abrahams, rejecting claims of political interference in the prosecutorial process.

Abrahams said Magashula, Gordhan and Pillay will be arraigned for fraud involving R1,141,178 related to the pension paid out to Pillay, which the NPA alleges he was not entitled.

Magasula will face a charge in relation to the contravention of the Finance Management Act as he allegedy allowed SARS to “incur unauthorised and wasteful expenditure” in granting Pillay the package.

Pillay and Magashula will face a further charge of fraud. This is in relation to the employment contract of five years given to Pillay after he had retired on grounds of ill health.

Pillay and Gordhan will face a further charge in relation to the extension of the employment contract.

Abrahams said the three accused were informed of the charges on Tuesday.

“The ANC urges all parties as well as external stakeholders to allow the law to take its course,” said Kodwa.

“The ANC further urges Cde Pravin Gordhan and others to fully cooperate with the NPA in order to bring this matter to finality as soon as possible. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty remains a sacrosanct principle of our law and the ANC has full confidence in our judiciary to act as final arbiters in these matters.

“The ANC calls on interested parties to desist against public commentary, which would undermine due process or create further confusion.”

The rand tumbled after the announcement that Pravin would be charged and lost as much as 3% against the US dollar.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)