Finance Ministry: Gordhan charges politically motivated

The ministry says it’s quite clear that these legal proceedings are contaminated by abuse for political ends.

FILE: Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Just minutes after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's lawyers responded to the fraud charges against him, the Finance Ministry has now released a statement.

It says it's unfortunate that the Hawks have, once again, chosen to initiate legal proceedings at a moment that appears calculated to maximise the damage inflicted on the economic wellbeing of South Africans, as well as the processes of government.

The ministry says despite Gordhan's full cooperation with all legal requirements, the Hawks chose to arrive unannounced at the minister's private home this morning.

It says shortly thereafter, without the courtesy of prior indication, National Prosecuting Authority Shaun Abrahams then convened a press conference to unveil the charges, which it labelled "patently without merit".

The ministry says it's quite clear that these legal proceedings are contaminated by abuse for political ends and it has raised concern that Abrahams chose to dwell extensively on allegations about the Sars investigative unit, which he is not yet able to prosecute.

Minister Gordhan said: "I intend to continue doing my job. The cause of defending ethical leadership in government and throughout society is too important to allow ourselves to be deterred by this kind of harassment. The fight against corruption, maladministration, and waste of public resources will continue."

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