Zuma must immediately suspend Abrahams – Mmusi Maimane

DA says NDDP cannot say 'we've made a mistake' and move on, someone must be held accountable

Zuma must immediately suspend Shaun Abrahams pending inquiry into his fitness to hold office    

31 October 2016

Today’s decision by National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv Shaun Abrahams, to drop criminal charges against Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, vindicates the DA’s position that these charges were indeed manufactured for malicious political purposes, and were without merit from their inception.

In a long-winded press briefing this morning, Abrahams systematically threw everyone else under the bus, making excuse after excuse for his seismic blunder – which he is ultimately responsible for. 

We maintain that Shaun Abrahams initiated these charges against Pravin Gordhan for narrow political purposes, and now following a lack of evidence and huge public outcry, Abrahams has been forced to make an embarrassing about-turn, leaving him with egg on his face. 

However, the NDDP cannot simply say “we’ve made a mistake” and proceed to withdraw the charges. The stakes far too high to be making such unacceptable and irresponsible mistakes. Shaun Abrahams must be held responsible for this unacceptable blunder. 

I therefore call on President Zuma to suspend Shaun Abrahams with immediate effect. In terms of section 12(6) of the NPA Act, the President can provisionally suspend the NDPP from his office, pending such inquiry into his office as the President may deem fit.

The President is required to communicate this suspension to Parliament within fourteen days after said suspension, or within fourteen days after the commencement of the next session of Parliament, if Parliament wasn’t in sitting at the time of said suspension. 

Parliament must then, within 30 days after the above notice had been tabled, or as soon as possible thereafter, pass a resolution either to restore the NDPP to his office or to remove him finally.

This allows Parliament to fulfill its right role in holding the executive to account, and insuring the use of power is open, transparent, and most importantly – legal.

These charges clearly illustrate the war government is waging against itself – making use of institutions of state to settle political scores. As the DA, we will continue the fight for accountability, transparency and the Rule of Law.

We’re in a race against time to save our institutions, and our democracy. Because without these democratic institutions, we have no democracy.

Jacob Zuma must now act decisively, failing which we will have no option but to believe that he is behind these malicious political antics. 

Issued by Mabine Seabe, Spokesperson to the DA Leader, 31 October 2016