'Occupy the streets' - Politicians react to Gordhan fraud charges

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Parliament, 17 May 2016 - The EFF have again been forcilbly removed from the National Assembly. The party's leader Julius Malema insisted that President Jacob Zuma not be allowed to address the House.

JOHANNESBURG – Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has called for South Africans to take to the streets of Pretoria on 2 November when Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan -- along with former Sars officials Ivan Pillay and Oupa Magashula -- is to appear on charges of fraud.

02 November 2016, all those who love our country and its constitution must occupy the streets of Pretoria in support of our democracy.

— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) October 11, 2016

The charges were announced by Shaun Abrahams, head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), at a media briefing on Tuesday morning.

Gordhan, Pillay and Magashula are being charged for approving the early retirement of former South African Revenue Service (Sars) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay in 2010.

Malema tweeted the following shortly after the announcement.

Zuma is fighting back because of evidence presented by treasury to Public Protector on state capture. We support #Pravin and not criminals.

— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) October 11, 2016

African National Congress spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement that the ANC noted the summons and that “mischieious conspiracy theories” have a detrimental effect on the South African economy”.

“We trust that today’s announcement will move us a step closer to uncovering the truth from facts and bring this matter to finality.

“We welcome today’s remarks by the head of the NPA, advocate Shaun Abrahams, rejecting claims of political interference in the prosecutorial process,” said Kodwa.

The ANC urged Gordhan and others charged to cooperate fully with the NPA and resolve the matter as soon as possible.

WATCH: Pravin Gordhan summoned to appear in court

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa said the charging of Gordhan was an opportunity for the finance minister to clear his name.

“While we are of the view that this should be done as least disruptively to the South African economy, we wish to state categorically that no one is above the law.

“A lot has been said in the past about him (Gordhan) being involved in alleged shenanigans. Now the last word will be had by the courts and he (Gordhan) should grab this opportunity,” said Holomisa.

Other prominent South Africans tweeted responses to the NPA’s decision to charge Gordhan with fraud.

They were going to look until they found something onto which they could hook a charge against Pravin Gordhan. The way Zuma works. https://t.co/yLNBlt8Uqv

— Helen Zille (@helenzille) October 11, 2016

#Sars #PravinGordhan #ACDP notes that the timing of the charges is regrettable and the damage to the economy is enormous

— ACDP South Africa (@A_C_D_P) October 11, 2016

The issue is not that #ZumaInKenya and we are leaderless. The question is where is Cyril #Ramaphosa? #USDZAR #PravinGordhan #Shaun

— Justice Malala (@justicemalala) October 11, 2016

The road to junk status has been paved by the NPA. #pravingordhan

— Eugene Ashton (@EHuge) October 11, 2016

Wait! Wait. Wait. You're letting the market destroy the rand over a Human Resources issue? #PravinGordhan pic.twitter.com/D0QCnFVd9H

— Sisonke Msimang (@Sisonkemsimang) October 11, 2016