Charges against Gordhan damaging economy‚ say business leaders
Business leaders have added their voices to the growing chorus of groups and organisations that have spoken out against the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to bring fraud charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
A group of CEOs and business leaders‚ referring to themselves as the CEO Initiative‚ have signed a pledge in support of the rule of law and against the decision to prosecute Gordhan which‚ they say‚ has caused damage to the economy and people of South Africa.
“Since the National Prosecuting Authority announced its charges against the Minister of Finance in the public arena‚ we consider it our right and duty to respond in public.
“We stand as one for the rule of law and against the decision to prosecute the Minister of Finance on charges that are‚ according to the preponderance of expert legal opinion‚ without factual or legal foundation and not in the public interest.
“We stand against the damage this has caused to our economy and to the people of South Africa‚ especially the poor‚” the group said.
It added that it was joining the Government/Business/Labour initiative‚ and was committed to “do the right thing; stand by what is right; and reject what is wrong”.
The group said it stood for:
• Our Constitution and Bill of Rights‚ which guarantee the independence of our courts and the impartiality of our prosecuting authority‚ and which create the institutions strengthening constitutional democracy in our country‚ such as the Office of the Public Protector
• Good Governance‚ by which we mean transparent‚ rational and evidence-based policymaking in the national interest; diligent and honest delivery of public goods and services; and a private sector that holds itself – and is held – to the highest standards of corporate citizenship‚ corporate governance and ethics
• A vibrant democracy‚ including the rights to freedom of expression and to protest peacefully under the equal protection of the law
• Fast and inclusive economic growth and job creation enabled by a stable and predictable regulatory framework for business
• Social justice and transformation so that South Africa truly becomes a country that belongs to all who live in it
• Procedural and substantive justice for all
• Inclusive growth and a prosperous South Africa for all.
It stood against:
• Injustice‚ including failures to investigate and prosecute prima facie wrongdoing and any selective‚ malicious or politically motivated prosecutions that cannot satisfy the public interest test
• Corruption‚ graft and waste in both private and public sectors
• Threats of violence and violent protest
• The damage to growth‚ job creation and transformation caused by policy uncertainty and by self-seeking behaviour in both the private and public sectors
• Persistent unfairness and inequity in the economy