Retired Constitutional Court judge Johan Kriegler has slammed what he called the “horrific” decision to treat Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan “like a criminal”.
Yesterday, Freedom Under Law, which Kriegler chairs, and the Helen Suzman Foundation, lodged an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court for an order to force the National Prosecuting Authority to reverse its decision to charge Gordhan.
“It is our [country’s] chief accounting officer, for Heaven’s sake.
“The Hawks and the NPA say he is guilty of fraud. It is horrific. The country of Madiba is being run like a spaza shop.”
Kriegler said the Hawks and the NPA treated Gordhan like a crook
“Imagine a minister standing in the dock like a common criminal. It’s scary,” he said.
Helen Suzman Foundation spokesman Piet Olivier said the foundation’s lawyers were of the opinion that the charges against Gordhan were baseless.
“This shows that the NPA is either incompetent or has brought the charges against Gordan with ulterior motives. The NPA is meant to be an independent body but these charges are an indication that there is political interference.”
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Gordhan yesterday appeared to take this turn of events in his stride, giving away nothing at the funeral of ANC struggle stalwart Mewlall “Mewa” Ramgobin, in Durban.
Ramgobin, 84, died last week in Cape Town.
Gordhan avoided talking about himself, instead giving a colourful account of Ramgobin’s life, describing him as a man of honour.
“Even when we differed politically he remained principled, even in trying times … Comrade Mewa was no sell-out,” Gordhan said.