The NPA has withdrawn the summons against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and former Sars officials Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay.
NPA head Shaun Abrahams in a letter to Gordhan’s attorney on Monday said after “perusal” of the matter he has decided to “overrule the decision” to prosecute the minister.
Abrahams in the letter said he has directed that the summons against Gordhan be withdrawn with “immediate effect”.
Gordhan was set to face two charges of fraud this week linked to his rubber stamping early retirement for former deputy SA Revenue Services deputy commissioner Pillay and then re-appointing him on a contract basis in 2010‚ during his first stint as the head of the treasury.
Abrahams has come under intense pressure after he announced during a media briefing two weeks ago that Gordhan had been summoned to appear in court on two charges of fraud on November 2.
This was exacerbated when it emerged in media reports that Abrahams had met President Jacob Zuma at the ANC headquarters‚ Luthuli House‚ a day before he announced the that Gordhan had been summonsed.
The meeting fuelled speculation that the case against Gordhan was politically motivated despite Abrahams and the presidency saying it was held to discuss the ongoing crisis over tertiary education funding.
A source close to Gordhan on Sunday said the charges may be withdrawn as soon as Monday in order to avert the protest march which was set to coincide with his court appearance in which ANC members‚ leaders and stalwarts are set to participate.
The campaign‚ which has been billed as a “people’s assembly against state capture” will see around 80 of the country’s chief executive officers and a number of attorneys and legal professionals participate.
On Sunday‚ Save South Africa said it would proceed with the march and its campaign against state capture even if the charges were withdrawn. “It will be a rally marking victory in this battle and consolidating the campaign against state capture‚ to stop the looting and corruption and restore the integrity of the state‚” campaign organisers said in a statement on Sunday.