S African finance minister to be prosecuted on fraud charges
SOUTH African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will be prosecuted for fraud in a move that sent the rand tumbling over concerns about political in-fighting and the country’s fragile economy.
Mr Gordhan, an internationally respected technocrat, was appointed only last year to calm panicked investors after President Jacob Zuma sacked two finance ministers within four days.
Since then, Mr Gordhan has regularly clashed with Zuma loyalists when vowing to battle poor governance and graft in a government that has been engulfed by regular corruption scandals.
Mr Gordhan was summoned to appear in court in Pretoria on November 2. Shaun Abrahams, head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said Mr Gordhan would be prosecuted for alleged misconduct over a retirement package paid to a colleague in 2010.
Mr Gordhan is widely seen as engaged in a months-long battle with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party officials over control of the treasury.
He has often clashed with Mr Zuma and senior ministers over alleged excessive spending, particularly at cash-bleeding state-run entities such as South African Airways. –