South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday came out in support of embattled Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
He said the fraud charges brought against him should not be allowed to undermine his efforts to revitalise the economy.
Prosecutors have ordered Gordhan to appear in court next month, in what his supporters say is part of a plot to discredit the man.
Events of the past few days regarding summonses served on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan have been of concern to many South Africans across all sectors of society.
“Events of the past few days regarding summonses served on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan have been of concern to many South Africans across all sectors of society,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said the charges had been announced as Gordhan prepared to deliver the Medium Term Budget Statement on Oct 26.
The legal action, which shook markets and hit the rand, also come as the country was bracing for possible ratings downgrades.
“Whatever the legal challenges that Minister Gordhan may face, we must not undermine the work that the government jointly with leaders of business and labour have been doing to stimulate domestic and international investment in our economy,” he added.
Et tu Rampaphosa said Zuma. Whilst we say well done to Ramaphosa as Zuma dies with a blade in his back. No-one… https://t.co/PlrBMdZ2iK— Ashwell Glasson (@Ashwellbglasson) October 16, 2016
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) suffered its worst-ever local election results in August, widening rifts in the ruling party.