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Pressure mounts on NPA boss over Gordhan charges

Two civil society groups have brought an urgent application to have the criminal charges set aside.

NPA head Shaun Abrahams. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Pressure is mounting on National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams to withdraw fraud charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, with civil society now entering the fray.

Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation yesterday announced they've brought an urgent application to have the criminal charges set aside.

Gordhan is facing fraud charges along with former South African Revenue Service commissioners Ivan Pillay and Oupa Magashula, in connection with Pillay's early retirement payout.

The civil society organisations invited Abrahams to furnish them with more information about the charge or to withdraw them voluntarily. When he failed to do this, they filed an urgent application.

Gordhan has also received support from several business leaders, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada and a rising number of Cabinet ministers, premiers and other politicians, including African National Congress chief whip Jackson Mthembu.

Abrahams is currently considering representations made by lawyers for Magashula and Pillay and it is possible he could withdraw charges against the trio this week, before their scheduled court appearance next Wednesday.