FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan refused to accept National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams’s offer to make representations in the fraud charges he is up against.
Gordhan’s lawyer Tebogo Malatji said yesterday they stood by their earlier position that they were not prepared to make an official complaint against the charges.
This was after the NPA head this week asked Gordhan and former Sars top officials Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay to make representations. Gordhan was given until 5pm to do so.
Last Friday, Malatji said they made several requests to Abrahams to review the charges against the minister, but he turned them down.
Gordhan’s refusal to accept the offer comes as more ANC leaders, including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and struggle stalwarts came out in his support.
The South African Council of Churches yesterday met with Abrahams to discuss the nature of the charges against Gordhan.
SACC general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana will meet today with fellow church leaders to brief them on what came out of the meeting with Abrahams.
The Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law have given the NPA head until Friday to respond to their letter.
The two organisations were demanding answers on the charges against Gordhan.
They want Abrahams to give reasons for charging the minister or withdraw the charges against him.
If he refused they may take the matter to the courts.
Gordhan himself said these were administrative issues and the matter could have been resolved internally.
The move by Gordhan not to take up Abrahams’s offer meant the matter will go to court next month where ANC stalwarts, including Ahmed Kathrada, Laloo Chiba and Barbara Hogan have promised to come out in support of the minister.
Malatji said Abrahams turned down a number of requests from their side to make these representations.
Abrahams has denied any political interference in the prosecution of Gordhan.