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Kriegler: NPA has not treated Gordhan fairly

Johann Kriegler says that Pravin Gordhan received no benefit from the charge he is accused of.

FILE: Johann Kriegler. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former Constitutional Court judge and Freedom Under Law chairperson, Johann Kriegler, says that National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head advocate Shaun Abrahams has not treated Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan fairly by telling the nation he was facing a criminal charge on live TV.

Yesterday, Abrahams confirmed that Gordhan had received a summons to appear in court on a charge of fraud.

He's been charged along with former South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Oupa Magashula and former deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay in relation to Pillay's pension.

Kriegler says he's not making any comment about whether this fraud charge has merit.

But he's very angry at the way Abrahams has managed this situation in public.

"We're saying our Minister of Finance is a fraud and a thief, that's what our National Prosecuting Authority is saying in broad daylight, proudly and loudly and clearly."

Kriegler says this charge stems from a transaction that occurred six years ago and from which Gordhan received no benefit.

TREASURY ASSURES CITIZENS

The Treasury says Gordhan is ready to subject himself to a legitimate process of the law to bring the allegations of fraud to rest.

WATCH: NPA outlines reasons behind Gordhan summons

It's also raised concern that Abrahams chose to dwell extensively on allegations about the Sars investigative unit which he's not yet able to prosecute.

Treasury says it's clear that the legal proceedings against Gordhan are contaminated by abuse for political ends.

Spokesperson Yoliswa Tyantshi says despite continuous engagements with the hawks over the last six months, they still arrived unannounced at Gordhan's home yesterday.

"The minister wished to assure the South African citizens that he will continue to serve the country and advance the objectives of reigniting the economic growth and affirm sound fiscal management."

At the Gauteng Open Tender Summit yesterday, Gordhan told the audience that the cause of defending ethical leadership is too important to be deterred by this kind of harassment.

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