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'Charges against Gordhan must be withdrawn'

Former ANC treasurer general Matthews Phosa says there’s no case against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former African National Congress (ANC) treasurer general Mathews Phosa says the charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan must be withdrawn as soon as possible and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head must be investigated.

Gordhan was charged earlier this month for approving the early retirement of Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay almost six years ago in a move that's drawn heavy criticism.

Phosa, a long-time member of the ANC, says over the weekend he wrote to the President asking that Shaun Abrahams be arrested and warned the NPA cannot be a lapdog of the Presidency.

He believes there's no case against Gordhan.

"Pravin Gordhan must be left to do the business of the people. There is no case against him, I don't believe there's a case against him and South Africans must be vigilant against people who want to pervert the system and corrupt it. I want to say very clearly, the NPA will go the same way as the Scorpions.

He's also expressed his appreciation for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa statement this weekend, which offers the finance minister moral and political support.

At the same time, Gordhan has applied for a declaratory order to show he cannot assist the Gupta family with their dispute with the banks after their accounts were closed earlier this year.

The minister filed court papers on Friday that claim around R6.8 billion worth of transactions by the controversial family and their companies are suspicious.

Gordhan's declaratory order is asking a judge to legally force the banks to re-open the Guptas' accounts that they had closed.

STATE CAPTURE REPORT

On Friday, Thuli Madonsela indicated that it was handed to the speaker of Parliament for safekeeping until two applications for an interdict are heard brought by the president and Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen.

On the same day, a statement was released saying the speaker could not keep the report because she's obliged to table it, then on Saturday the statement was retracted, saying the report would be kept at the National Assembly until today and handed over to the new Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The Democratic Alliance, however, is saying that the report should be tabled in Parliament and this would mean that members of Parliament would have access to the report which is believed to contain "explosive" details about President Jacob Zuma's relationship with the Gupta family.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the Gupta family says the legal application brought by Gordhan detailing the allegedly suspicious transactions conducted by the family is misguided.