Gordhan shuns NPA invite, advises Abrahams to withdraw 'flawed and unfounded' charges
“Our client does not intend to make representations to you for the considerations previously articulated.”
That is why Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s lawyers said he would not be meeting the Tuesday 5pm deadline to make representations to the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams to review his fraud charges‚ his lawyer Gideon Malatji said on Tuesday.
The lawyers instead advised Abrahams to withdraw the charges.
In a letter to Abrahams‚ Tebogo Malatji‚ who is acting for Gordhan‚ said: “We have seen the letter by Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation dated 14 October 2016 in which we were copied. We invite you to withdraw the charges against our client in the light of the grounds set out therein.”
The groups cited by Malatji had‚ on Friday‚ said: “We had the ‘charges’ analysed and were pleased but not surprised to be advised that they are on the face of it legally flawed and factually unfounded.”
On Monday‚ Abrahams said Gordhan’s co-accused Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay‚ through their legal representations‚ had made representations to him in which they requested him to review the decision taken by the Acting Special Director of Public Prosecutions Torie Pretorius to charge them.
Abrahams said he was currently considering the representations and extended the invitation to Gordhan to make representations by no later than 5pm on Tuesday.
Speaking to Radio 702 on Tuesday afternoon‚ Malatji‚ of Gildenhuys Malatji Attorneys‚ said his client remained unconvinced that representations will result in Abrahams arriving at a different conclusion.
Malatji said Gordhan had asked to make representations before a decision on whether to prosecute was taken.
“We contend participating in process you do not have confidence in is problematic. If this was a genuine offer‚ it should have come before the decision and before the press conference‚” Malatji said.
Last week‚ Gordhan’s lawyers said he had decided not to make representations to Abrahams.
They said the main reason was that Gordhan did not have any confidence in Abrahams’s ability or willingness to afford him a fair hearing.
They also said they asked the National Prosecuting Authority to afford Gordhan an opportunity to make representations to them before they decided whether to prosecute the minister.
“Second‚ the NDPP’s conduct at his press conference announcing the decision to charge the minister made clear his commitment to the prosecution.
Third‚ having now had an opportunity to study the charges against the minister‚ it is also clear to us that they manifest a resolute and not well-founded determination to prosecute the minister at all costs. Any representations to the NDPP would accordingly be pointless.”
- TMG Digital