#PravinGordhan: I'll continue to do my job

Gordhan's attorney says they don’t understand how this charge could have been brought against him.

Pravin Gordhan.  Picture: Youtube

JOHANNESBURG - As Pravin Gordhan's lawyers say the fraud charge against him defies all logic, he says he will stay on to do his job as President Jacob Zuma again affirms his faith in him while big business, parts of civil society and sections of the African National Congress (ANC) are showing their support for him.

Yesterday, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head advocate Shaun Abrahams confirmed Gordhan had been summoned to appear in court in November, along with former South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Oupa Magashula and former deputy Sars Commissioner Ivan Pillay.

Gordhan has said the charges are politically motivated but that he will subject himself to the legitimate processes of the law.

His attorney Tebogo Malatjie says they simply don't understand how this charge could have been brought against their client.

"It defies all logic for us on what basis the minister could possibly have been guilty of fraud, given the facts that are in the public domain relating to all the matters that the Hawks could have been investigating."

But yesterday Abrahams said he had to bring this charge, as no one was above the law and he denied any claims of a political motive.

He says this charge simply relates to the way Pillay's pension was arranged.

WATCH: NPA outlines reasons behind Gordhan summons

And at the same time, there's been a huge reaction already this morning with the Treasury having joined the chorus of condemnation.


Abrahams says before drafting his memorandum to Gordhan and Magashula, he sought advice from the Public Service and Administration Department on the early retirement option proposed by Pillay.

"The employee initiated severance package was clearly not applicable in Mr Pillay's case."

Abrahams says the severance package was approved together with a fixed term contract.

"Mr Pillay also entered into a five-year employment contract with Sars instead of a three-year contract as approved by Mr Gordhan."

Gordhan says he approved Magashula's proposal, believing it was entirely above board.

Meanwhile, Firector-General Lungisa Fuzile says Gordhan should not step aside as a result of these charges.

"As the minister always indicates, you serve at the pleasure of the president, so it will be unwise for anyone to suggest that the president wouldn't do that but I'm just saying that it would be premature for Mr Gordhan to consider resigning or ask of him to resign."

Meanwhile, Gordhan himself spoke briefly yesterday, while big business is also raising its voice.

But the ANC itself appears to be trying to take a neutral stance.

The party has urged Gordhan to fully co-operate with the NPA.

Spokesperson Khusela Sangoni said: "We're hoping that this announcement is going to bring us closer o uncovering the truth and bringing this matter to finality."

The ANCWL, which previously accused the minister of seeking public sympathy and acting like he is above the law when he did not turn himself over to the Hawks for a warning statement in relation to the formation of the so called Sars rogue unit, says it simply wants the truth to prevail.

"We'll definitely not want this matter to be dragged long but rather the truth should prevail."

The ANC says it views the matter in a serious light given the fact that it had a very detrimental effect on the economy.