/ 5 June 2018

Masutha disputes Bloomberg Abrahams article

(Trevor Samson)
(Trevor Samson)

The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services wants to set the record straight on Minister Michael Masutha’s quoted words in a Bloomberg article which was published on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, Bloomberg published an article detailing Masutha’s opinion of National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams.

READ MORE: Justice minister has ‘full confidence’ in Abrahams

In the same interview, Bloomberg claimed that Masutha had said he had supported the 2016 decision to charge then finance minister Pravin Gordhan for fraud.

But according to a statement released by the ministry, this is not the full story.

In a statement released on June 5, the ministry wanted to clarify not only Masutha’s “conviction that he believed there was a case to answer”, but also that Abrahams’s review of “the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit of the NPA had provided sufficient clarity in law that there had been no criminal intent on the part of Minister Gordhan.”

According to the statement, Masutha “accepted that the subsequent decision of the NDPP to decline to prosecute was sound in law.”

“It is regrettable that Bloomberg did not cover Minister Masutha’s statement in full, which left the unfortunate suggestion of guilt on the part of Minister Gordhan, which was not Minister Masutha’s intention.”

The statement ended with Masutha affirming his respect for Gordhan and his regret for the “disconcerting effect” that the article may have caused.