Weekend Post (South Africa)

Zuma decides not to suspend Abrahams

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PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has decided not to suspend national director of public prosecutio­ns Shaun Abrahams or North Gauteng director of public prosecutio­ns Sibongile Mzinyathi and the acting head of the priority crimes litigation unit, Torie Pretorius‚ his office said yesterday.

This relates to the botched attempt last year to prosecute Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and two former South African Revenue Service (SARS) officials‚ which prompted calls for the presi- dent to suspend Abrahams pending an inquiry into his fitness to hold office.

Gordhan was accused‚ in his previous capacity as head of SARS‚ of fraudulent­ly approving early retirement for then deputy commission­er Ivan Pillay‚ and then re-hiring him as a consultant.

Pillay and former SARS commission­er Oupa Magashula were Gordhan’s co-accused.

Yesterday‚ the presidency said Zuma had considered the submission­s by the three prosecutio­ns officials on why they should not be suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry into their fitness to hold office.

“In considerin­g this matter the president had to place weight to the provisions of section 179 of the Constituti­on of the Republic of South Africa‚ 1996, which guarantees the independen­ce of the national prosecutin­g authority and those of its officials.

“Having considered the submission­s received from the three prosecutor­s and concerns raised by the Helen Suz- man Foundation and Freedom Under Law regarding their conduct in as far as it relates to the decision to charge and review the charges against Minister Pravin Gordhan‚ Mr Ivan Pillay and Mr Oupa Magushula‚ the president could not find substantia­tion for the claim that Adv Abrahams‚ Adv Mzinyathi and Dr Pretorius’s conducts were actuated by ulterior motive or any other improper motive which would give rise to a charge of misconduct‚” the Presidency said.

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