Justice minister: What's the fuss about inviting NPA boss to Luthuli House

Michael Masutha says Shaun Abrahams was best placed to provide information on Fees Must Fall protests.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha addresses the media at the GCIS head office in Pretoria on 21 October 2016 to confirm South Africa's decision to withdraw from the International Crimanal Court. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

PRETORIA - Justice Minister Michael Masutha says it never crossed his mind that inviting prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams to a meeting with President Jacob Zuma at Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters, would be an issue.

Abrahams has come under fire after it emerged that he attended the meeting the day before he announced the decision to prosecute Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for fraud. The charge relates to Gordhan approving the early retirement of former South African Revenue Services's deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

Masutha insists that Gordhan's case was not discussed.

"That matter had already been communicated well ahead of that day and I had already communicated to the President the decision. It was absolutely unnecessary ta that meeting to repeat ourselves."

He says he invited Abrahams to a meeting with President Zuma to discuss the unrest at universities.

"The last thing I had in mind was the mere fact that the meeting was taking place at the headquarters of the African National Congress would make an issue."

Masutha believes Abrahams was best placed to provide information related to the Fees Must Fall protests.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions has been accused of being a pawn in Zuma's alleged cold war with Gordhan.