We had no intention of causing distress with Gordhan charges – Abrahams

Cape Town – NPA head Shaun Abrahams had no intention of causing any distress to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and two former Sars senior officials, Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay when he announced charges of fraud against them, he told Parliament on Friday.

Briefing the justice committee on his decision to drop the fraud charges against the three, Abrahams was grilled on the decision to prosecute.

Abrahams told the committee that when a decision to prosecute was made, the NPA was aware that lives and reputations would be affected and there would be major repercussions.

“Not only for the people concerned. We certainly don’t make decisions to prosecute for people to be affected adversely,” he said.

He was responding to a question from DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach, who asked him if he had any idea of the stress he had caused the three.

Breytenbach also asked him if he had any idea of the decision’s repercussions on the economy.

This after Abrahams told media during his press conference that he did not feel he owed anyone an apology.

No political interference

Abrahams told the committee he had every confidence in his deputy directors and their decision to prosecute at the time.

“There certainly was no intention remotely to act detrimental or to negate the rights of any of the persons concerned here,” he said.

He had been satisfied by the decision made to prosecute and that there was a case, he said.

“I certainly had no intention, and neither did the institution, have the intention to cause any distress to Mr Gordhan, Pillay or Magashula. That being said, anyone facing charges would of course face some form of distress,” he said.

Abrahams was also grilled on whether there had been any political interference in the matter or a meeting at ANC headquarters Luthuli House to allegedly discuss it.

The NPA head was adamant that the decision had been made solely by the NPA.

“There is no iota of proof of political interference in the matter.”



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