Cabinet says Pravin Gordhan has its backing

Minister Jeff Radebe says Gordhan is ‘innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law.’

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

CAPE TOWN - Cabinet says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has its full backing as he faces fraud charges.

The Finance Minister has been charged with fraud in relation to former South African Revenue Services (Sars) commissioner Ivan Pillay's early retirement payout.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says Gordhan is "innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law."

He says Cabinet did not deal with the merits of what the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has decided when it comes to prosecuting Gordhan.

Radebe says Cabinet's support is based on Section 35 of the Constitution, which states that a person is innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law.

He also announced that Gordhan will now be included in the ministerial task team dealing with the higher education fees crisis.

"In appreciation of the magnitude of the challenges, President Zuma has further broadened the composition of the ministerial task team with the inclusion of the ministers of human settlements, communications, finance and social development."

Gordhan's initial exclusion from the task team, announced by Zuma last week, raised eyebrows.