Gordhan charges not in interest of public - BLSA

Business Leadership South Africa says pledging support for Gordhan is about promoting economic growth.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Business Leadership South Africa says the criminal charges brought against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan are not in the best interest of the public.

Eight-one CEOs have come out in support of Gordhan as he prepares to head to court next week.

The association's Bonang Mohale says pledging their support for Gordhan is about promoting economic growth.

"We are protecting the integrity of our economic institutions. In the same way, all of us ought to respect the office of the President, even though we may not like the occupant at this moment."

Mohale says the country must do everything possible to avoid a credit downgrade in six weeks' time.

"We don't want a downgrade because when we are graded below investment grade, people on the streets will pay more for milk, bread and maize meal. We don't want a downgrade because all the state-owned companies that have borrowed money... that borrowing will go up."

Gordhan will deliver his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement speech in Parliament tomorrow after being charged with fraud, a move which has been heavily criticised, adding to the uncertainty that clouds the nation's economic outlook.