Assume the brace position – Gordhan ‘to be charged this week’
The City Press newspaper is reporting that the finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, is to be charged by the Hawks this week for his role in setting up an intelligence unit inside SARS and for “corruption” related to his signing off early retirement for an official.
The front page report says that more than 30 witnesses have been lined up and that the head of the NPA, Shaun Abrahams, has personally taken charge of the case.
If this is true, the events of December 2015 will pale in comparison when it comes to damage to the economy.
It is highly unlikely that these charges will stick. The version of them which appears in the Hawks letter to Gordhan is confused and confusing, and his lawyers quickly tore them to pieces in their response.
But the event itself – a finance minister arrested and then appearing in the dock on flimsy charges – is likely to cause global market confidence in South Africa to plummet.