Lawyers acting for two South African non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — Freedom Under Law (FUL) and the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) — have served an urgent application to have the recent criminal charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan set aside.
“This is after we invited NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions) Shaun Abrahams to furnish us with more information about the charges, or to withdraw them voluntarily. He failed to do this, despite being given a week’s notice,” the two organizations said in a joint statement here Sunday.
They say the charges, relating to the early retirement and subsequent re-employment of Ivan Pillay, a former Deputy Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) at a time when Gordhan headed the SARS, are obviously without foundation. “They are completely invalid, both legally and on any plausible reading of the facts,” the two NGOs say in a joint statement.
“At best, the charges reveal dizzying incompetence at the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) and the Hawks (special investigations unit of the South African Police Service). At worst, they confirm our suspicions — that the criminal justice system is being undermined to serve particular political interests.”
The application by FUL and the HSF do not seek to protect particular individuals or to take any side in factional battles. They say that it is about protecting the machinery of the State from being undermined for nefarious purposes, thus also preventing further damage to the fragile economy at a sensitive time.
The says tje people of South Africa have a right to a criminal justice system which works for, not against, them. “We are going to court to vindicate that right,” FUL and the HSF say.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.