DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on President Jacob Zuma to suspend NPA boss Advocate Shaun Abrahams with immediate effect pending an inquiry into his fitness to hold office.

This after Abrahams, who has been described as “Shady Shaun” on social media, announced on Monday morning he was formally withdrawing the criminal charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and former Sars officials Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay. 

The charges pertained to Gordhan’s approval of an early retirement package for Pillay and later hiring him on contract, during his time as Sars commissioner.

Gordhan was expected to appear in court in Tshwane on Wednesday.

Maimane said the decision “vindicates the DA’s position that these charges were indeed manufactured for malicious political purposes, and were without merit from their inception”.

“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,” said Maimane. 

He called on Abrahams to 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 (National Directorate of Public Prosecutions) from his office, pending such inquiry into his office as the president may deem fit”. 

ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said they welcomed the NPA’s decision to drop the charges, saying they had always believed in the innocence of Gordhan, “hence our unwavering support since fraud charges were preferred against him”.

“Actions of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to charge Comrade Pravin Gordhan and others, have had a negative impact on the economy and created unnecessary speculations about the real motive. The ANC calls on the appointing authority to engage the NPA leadership to avoid a repeat of this and to protect the independence and integrity of the NPA,” said Kodwa.

He added: “Now that the charges have been dropped, we must continue to build on the trajectory of economic growth as envisaged and to create jobs as outlined by the Minister of Finance, Comrade Pravin Gordhan in the recent Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.”

As the news broke, people took to social media, poking fun at Abrahams.

@ZakesMda tweeted: “#shaunabrahams water drinking and nervousness is reminiscent of Nathi Nhleko’s effusive sweating. Things grown men go through for No. 1!”

@ProfTinyiko said: “#ShaunAbrahams has just provided the most eloquent definition of South Africa as a banana republic. He is that definition.”

@judith_february : “#shaunabrahams so can we, the people sue Shady Shaun for wiping all that value off the JSE with his initial decision? #shaunmustfall”

@pierredevos : “Note to #shaunabrahams, all you needed to say was: “there never was a case against Min Gordhan; charges are hereby withdrawn.”

@MsNdima : “Nothing more excruciating than watching a grown man battle to eloquently say “South Africans- I’m Mampara of the Year” – #ShaunAbrahams

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