Social media was abuzz on Sunday following media reports that the NPA plans to re-charge Pravin Gordhan.
The National Prosecuting Authority as well as the Directorate of Priority Crimes, known as the Hawks, were reportedly planning to charge the embattled finance minister “by no later than Christmas”.
According to the City Press, quoting unnamed sources in the NPA and Hawks, the charges relate to the establishment of the so-called rogue unit in 2007, when Gordhan was commissioner of the SA Revenue Service (Sars).
It’s reported that Gordhan will be charged with fraud, defeating the ends of justice and contravention of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, alongside his former Sars deputy, Ivan Pillay.
On Sunday Hawks spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi, would neither confirm nor deny the new charges against Gordhan.
“This matter has been in the public arena for some time and has been ongoing with the help of the NPA,” he tells the Daily Voice.
“Now everyone wants to know when the Minister will be charged, we said in the beginning, there is no investigation into the minister but rather this so-called rogue unit.
“Investigations must first be completed before people start making wild assumptions and South Africans should also not fall prey to these talks and start panicking.”
Exactly a week ago, the NPA shocked the nation when it announced that it will be withdrawing fraud charges against Gordhan, Pillay and another former Sars official Oupa Magashula, relating to Gordhan approving Pillay’s early retirement, and later re-employing him on a contractual basis.
NPA boss Shaun Abrahams explained the decision came after he “reviewed” the charges against the trio.
The charges came just days before Gordhan presented his crucial Medium Term Budget speech in Parliament.
MPs from opposition parties slammed Abrahams’ conduct, demanding he apologise to Gordhan, Pillay and Magashule, and that he resign.
The City Press added that four prosecutors from the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit, which Abrahams used to head, were called in to assist the investigation team.
On Sunday shocked South Africans took to Twitter to express their views on the matter.
JPG tweeted: “If this relentless attempt to charge #PravinGordhan is not politically motivated, what is it then #shaunabrahams?”
Dr Jonathan Searll also tweeted: “Hawks must keep its corrupt hands off SA Finance Minister #PravinGordhan, our markets can’t take this.”