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Section 27 urges ANC to refuse orders to sanitise process to have Gordhan removed

The groups says these are not ordinary rule of law issues but amount to an abuse of the law.

Finance minster Pravin Gordhan at the Ahmed Kathrada foundations Banquet on Heritage day. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Health NGO Section 27 says it's asking African National Congress (ANC) leaders to refuse to obey any political orders to take part in a process of sanitising the removal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The organisation is asking people to show their support for Gordhan, when he appears in court along with former South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Oupa Magashula and former deputy Sars Commissioner Ivan Pillay in November.

On Tuesday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it issuing a summons for a charge of fraud, relating to the pension payout given to Pillay.

Section 27 says ANC leaders should obey their conscience and demonstrate their loyalty to the Constitution by refusing to allow Gordhan to be removed from office.

The groups says these are not ordinary rule of law issues but amount to an abuse of the law.

The organisation's director Mark Heywood says: "Reckless endangerment of the future of this country and it's reckless endangerment more importantly of millions of people who are vulnerable to deeper poverty, to job losses and to rising food prices."

The group also says the fact NPA head Shaun Abrahams held a press conference to announce the charges shows this is a bid to humiliate Gordhan.

Meanwhile, Abrahams said he's confident the fraud charges against Gordhan and two other former Sars officials will stand up in court.

Abrahams was speaking after briefing Parliament's justice committee this afternoon.

He reiterated that he was prepared to consider reviewing the decision to prosecute if Gordhan chose to make representations to him.

Abrahams told Members of Parliament he did not take the decision to prosecute Gordhan, Pillay and Magashula himself.

Asked after the meeting about various legal opinions on whether the charges, linked to Pillay's early retirement, will stick, Abrahams said: "Firstly, I am extremely confident by the prosecutors that looked into the matter that decided on the prosecution respect of the matter, otherwise we'd have never taken the matter to court.

"The NPA do not take matters to court if they don't believe there are reasonable prospects of a prosecution."

Abrahams refused to discuss the merits of the case.

"I implore you to wait until the trial in respect of the matter, when the evidence is presented."

Abrahams says the decision to prosecute was taken as soon as the investigation was completed.

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