Prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams says he has no intention of resigning‚ despite bringing and then retracting a criminal case against the finance minister.
Addressing a long briefing about why he was withdrawing a fraud case against Pravin Gordhan‚ he declined to answer a question about whether he is embarrassed or disappointed. However‚ he did say he did not owe anyone an apology.
He does not believe this is a “blunder”.
“Will I resign? Certainly not.”
Gordhan was set to face two charges of fraud this week linked to his rubber-stamping of early retirement for Pillay, a former deputy SARS deputy commissioner, and then reappointing him on contract in 2010, during the minister’s first stint as the head of the Treasury.
Abrahams has come under intense pressure since he announced during a media briefing two weeks ago that Gordhan had been summonsed to appear in court on November 2 on two charges of fraud.
This was exacerbated when it emerged in media reports that Abrahams had met President Jacob Zuma at ANC headquarters Luthuli House a day before he announced that Gordhan had been summonsed.
The meeting fuelled speculation that the case against Gordhan was politically motivated despite Abrahams and the Presidency saying their meeting was held to discuss the ongoing crisis over tertiary education funding.
Abrahams said in a letter to Gordhan’s attorney on Monday that after “perusal” of the matter he had decided to “overrule the decision” to prosecute the minister.
Abrahams said in the letter he had directed that the summons against Gordhan be withdrawn with “immediate effect”.