Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced on Thursday that his lawyers are considering whether to have any discussions with National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regarding its decision to file charges against him.
Gordhan addressed the media at the Bhisho State House following a meeting he‚ along with his deputy‚ Mcebisi Jonas‚ held with the Premier Phumulo Masualle-led executive council.
The discussions related to the province’s handling of its finances during the 2015/16 financial year as well as matters of concern in preparation for the tabling of the mid-term budget on October 26.
Gordhan said: “On the NPA matter‚ I have referred that to my lawyers to deal with it.”
The NPA’s Shaun Abrahams announced the decision to charge Gordhan with fraud relating to his approval of early retirement of his former deputy‚ Ivan Pillay‚ when he was commissioner of SA Revenue Services. The NPA alleges that this is a contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.
However‚ Abrahams made an about-turn on Wednesday while addressing members of Parliament when he announced that the door was still open for Gordhan to have discussions relating to the NPA’s decision to charge him.
When the NPA made the announcement on Tuesday‚ the value of the rand plummeted by 3%. Gordhan said: “All over the world‚ what we must appreciate is that political events or economic events impact on market sentiments.”
What South Africa saw the rand doing on Tuesday is what you must expect in this environment‚ he said.
“What is important is for us to appreciate the relationship between economics/politics in one hand and market sentiments on the other hand. All of us carry a huge responsibility while we are in the public or private sector to ensure that we conduct ourselves and try and maintain optimism in our economy and in our country‚” said Gordhan.
“That is what we are trying to do as National Treasury‚” he added.
– TMG Digital/Daily Dispatch