South Africa Prosecutor Withdraws Charges Against Finance Minister
Fraud charges against South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and his co-accused would be dropped.
This was announced on Monday by the country’s top prosecutor Shaun Abrahams .
Gordhan was due to appear in court on November 2 on charges dating back to 2010 over a colleague’s retirement package.
But Abrahams said he foresaw difficulties in proving the charges against Gordhan, which have driven a wedge between rival camps in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.
“I have directed the summons to be withdrawn with immediate effect,” Abrahams told journalists.
While announcing the decision, Abrahams said he believed Gordhan did not intend to break the law.
ANC politicians stand with embattled Minister
Gordhan had claimed the charges were politically motivated. He received support from several high-profile ANC politicians. Notable is the nation’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, and numerous ministers as well as scores of business leaders.
His intended prosecution had sparked investor fears that he would also be sacked. This is coming at a time the country is reeling from an economic downturn and declining business confidence.
He has been a vocal opponent of corruption and excessive spending by President Jacob Zuma’s government, which has been hit by a series of graft scandals and slowing economic growth.