JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Catholic Bishops have pledged their support for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, saying that the current crisis appears to have escalated the perceived war within the African National Congress (ANC).
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head advocate Shaun Abrahams confirmed this week that Gordhan had been summoned to appear in court in November, along with former South African Revenue Services (Sars) Commissioner Oupa Magashula and former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.
The bishops say that no one is above the law and court processes need to take their course but say that President Jacob Zuma needs to take the necessary steps to address the systematic issues behind the situation.
Bishop Abel Gabuza says: “We suspect that there might be some crisis and infighting within the political party that is ruling. Our interest is basically that any person in South Africa is presumed innocent until found guilty.”
At the same, struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada has vowed to be by Gordhan’s side when he appears in court next month, along with other past and present leaders from his foundation.
The anti-apartheid struggle veteran says he will be by Gordhan’s side, hopefully with other board members of his foundation, during the first court appearance on 2 November.
Kathrada says he hopes he will be joined by the likes of Barbara Hogan, Kgalema Motlanthe, Max Sisulu and Derek Hanekom when he goes to court next month to support the finance minister.
The foundation’s Neeshan Balton says the stalwart will be at every court appearance.
“Mr Kathrada has offered to walk with Mr Gordhan into the court room because the National Treasury has really come to symbolize the fight against corruption in this country. And for that and that alone, he deserves all the support that is required.”
The foundation has called on South Africans to demonstrate their moral support for Gordhan, emphasising that he shouldn’t be put under pressure to resign as he stands for clean governance and it believes in his integrity.