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Lobby groups threaten court action over Gordhan arrest

The NPA has been urged to give an undertaking not to arrest Pravin Gordhan without prior warning.

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan at a function in Cape Town. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

PRETORIA - The Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law have given the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) until midday today to give an undertaking not to arrest Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan without prior warning.

Gordhan and several other former revenue service officials have been implicated in an investigation into the establishment and conduct of a now disbanded unit that operated within South African Revenue Services (Sars).

It emerged only two weeks ago that the minister was in fact a suspect after initial public statements by the Hawks that he was not.

The foundation and Freedom Under Law say they are prepared to go to court if the Hawks and the NPA do not commit to an undertaking.

The organisations want Gordhan to be given at least 20 days' notice if he is to be criminally charged in order for him to approach the courts for an interdict.

They argue that the administration of justice, the economy and the republic itself have already been gravely endangered by the actions of the authorities.

The organisations believe the case against the minister is without foundation and any threat or attempt to arrest him would amount to an abuse of process, intended to harass, humiliate and intimidate him.

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