Zuma should make public Abrahams submissions on fitness to hold office
28 November 2016
President Jacob Zuma must today make public the submissions he receives from the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv Shaun Abrahams, regarding his fitness for office.
Today marks the last day for Abrahams, as well as Gauteng Director of Public Prosecution, Sibongile Mzinyathi, and Special Director of Public Prosecutions in the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit, Torie Pretorius, to provide reasons as to why they should not be removed from their current positions.
It is of utmost importance for all South African citizens that these reasons be publically released, given the impact that the undue decision to charge Minister Pravin Gordon had on our economy.
Abrahams and his colleagues were inextricably involved in the initial decision to prosecute Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, SARS commissioner, Oupa Magashula, and former SARS deputy commissioner, Ivan Pillay of fraud. Abrahams’s decision to announce charges against Gordhan, without first reviewing the matter himself, was wholly unacceptable and consequently eroded R50 billion from our already ailing economy in the process.
The decision was irrational and clearly politically motivated. In an embarrassing turn of events, Abrahams withdrew the charge three weeks later, which prompted the President to write to Abrahams, requesting him to provide reasons why he is fit for office and should not be removed from his position.
It has been the DA’s contention from the start of the debacle that President Zuma should suspend Abrahams pending investigation. The debate we requested on the politicisation of the NPA will take place in Parliament tomorrow. It is important that we work to restore the integrity and independence of the NPA, and it is for this reason that the DA is preparing a Private Member’s Bill (PMB), which will democratise the appointment of the NDPP.
The public deserves to know the facts surrounding the spectacle of Gordhan’s prosecution and subsequent withdrawal of charges. It is therefore of national importance that the President handles the rest of the process with complete transparency, in doing so placing himself above suspicion.
Issued by Glynnis Breytenbach, DA Shadow Minister of Justice, 28 November 2016