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South Africa’s Finance Minister to announce budget
October 26, 2016, 9:20 am

A number of business leaders and scholars have come to Gordhan's aid and expressed outrage at his "vilification" [Xinhua]

A number of business leaders and scholars have come to Gordhan’s aid and expressed outrage at his “vilification” [Xinhua]

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is set to announce the country’s midterm budget today which is supposed to curb the government’s budget deficit and cut spending.

Gordhan said he plans on cutting the deficit to 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) down from 3.9 per cent the year before.

This, however, comes as Gordhan’s court date for charges of alleged fraud looms closer.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (also known as ‘the Hawks’) summoned Gordhan to answer questions in relation to a probe of a purported surveillance unit established while he was head of the country’s tax authority.

The finance minister did not respond to the summons on advice of his attorneys but said he “remained committed to assist the Hawks in any bona fide investigation”.

“I have a job to do in a difficult economic environment and serve South Africa as best I can. Let me do my job,” Gordhan said in a statement.

Gordhan has dismissed the charges as politically motivated.

The probe and the summons come at a sensitive time as South Africa tries to emerge from stalled GDP growth, with some pundits saying nothing could more destabilize the economy and the local currency than this investigation.

Business leaders and former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel have jumped to defend Gordhan.

“Such action will destroy this economy,” Manuel told eNCA television.

President Jacob Zuma said while speaking in parliament on Tuesday that fraud charges against Gordhan were “a concern to all of us, including the investor community.”

Zuma also said that he had never discussed the case with the state prosecutor.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies
Helmo Preuss in Pretoria, South Africa contributed to this report

One Response to South Africa’s Finance Minister to announce budget

  1. Mohamed Reda Laghzaoui Reply

    October 27, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    I’m so glad to hear south Africa is having BIG ISSUES! U want to get better???? Contact the King of Morocco. CHINA!!!! please convince south Africa NOT to be enemies with Morocco by backing the HORRIBLE actually they help terrorists ( the polisario front ) . So south Africa I hope to God if they don’t back out of their support for Algeria and the polisario front I hope they live in despair and horror.

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