‘We’ll follow Pravin all the way to the court’‚ says Mthembu
ANC chief whip and NEC member Jackson Mthembu will accompany his friend and “honest” comrade Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to court when he makes an appearance on fraud charges next month. Mthembu‚ speaking in his personal capacity‚ said Gordhan was a “wonderful” person and was innocent until proven guilty. Mthembu made the statement on Tuesday during a media briefing on decisions taken at the party’s weekend caucus lekgotla. ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party noted the announcement by the National Prosecuting Authority to summons Gordhan‚ Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay to appear in court on fraud charges in relation to the investigation of the so-called SARS “rogue unit”.“This investigation and related‚ untested and mischievous ‘conspiracy theories’ has had a detrimental effect on the South African economy and we trust that today's announcement will move us a step closer to uncovering the truth from facts and bring this matter to finality‚” said Kodwa in a statement.Mthembu said the party in parliament stood by the statement of the organisation on the matter.“Safe to also say that many of us respect the honesty of PG (Gordhan)‚ our minister of finance‚ whilst we are of course requesting there should be cooperation between those who are charged and those who are charging. From where I sit as a person‚ I have a lot of respect from comrade PG‚ he’s a stalwart of our movement‚ and again as statement of ANC says‚ he remains innocent and until proven guilty‚” said Mthembu.Mthembu said he was convinced that Gordhan is an “honest man”.“Of course let’s allow the law to take its course. I’m still convinced that PG is a wonderful person‚ he’s an honest person. Let’s see what gets out of the law process. Probably these statements that we are making could be proved by the outcome of what has now started. “We will be with him some of us all the way to wherever he’s going. We will accompany him there if need be‚ to the courts‚ as an ANC comrade‚ as a cadre of our movement‚ as a disciplined cadre of our movement‚ and as a wonderful finance minister‚” said Mthembu.Mthembu said the matter only arose on Tuesday a few days after the lekgotla‚ so he was speaking on the matter “as Jackson Mthembu” and not on behalf of the ANC.