National 25.8.2016 11:32 am

Pillay and others need SA behind them – Kriegler

R2k protestors outside the Hawks office in Pretoria, 25 August 2016. Picture: Jacques Nelles

R2k protestors outside the Hawks office in Pretoria, 25 August 2016. Picture: Jacques Nelles

‘This is not just about Pravin Gordhan and Ivan Pillay; it’s an issue about our country, and how we fight corruption.’

Judge Johann Kriegler told reporters in front of the General Piet Joubert building in Tshwane that the Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation promised legal support to Pilkay and the rest in court.

‘It’s a disgrace that we have come to this in our fair land, South Africa.’

“Have you seen these individuals who walked in here today? Have you seen what the system has done to them? Ruined them financially, ruined them emotionally, and they have been left alone.
I think they are entitled as human beings to the moral support of decent South Africans who can stand up and say, enough of this!

“A man like Ivan Pillay, who has given his life to the cause, is being victimised by petty little people. It’s a disgrace that we have come to this in our fair land, South Africa.”

He said it was obvious that they called on the support of the rest of the country. “The only way that people like this will listen is when they have to be confronted by sufficient push-back by decent society.”

Advocate George Bizos said that was a concern for justice. “We are concerned about the justice system in South Africa. Judge Kriegler and I and the Helen Suzman Foundation have fought Apartheid for many years. We are concerned the events of the past are being repeated.”

‘We find it strange that the Hawks are calling them here, while at the same time the minister of transport has closed down, or are trying to close an investigation at Prasa [Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa] that involves billions of rands.’

He said he hoped the people of South Africa would stand by Judge Johann Kriegler.

“Months ago they broke into the Helen Suzman foundation in late March. [During] an armed incursion run like a military operation, only computers with sensitive material were taken. None of the other computers were taken,” Francis Antonie, director of the Helen Suzman Foundation, said.

He added: “We know that Sars was one of our superb institutions and so was the Treasury. As these institutions become hollowed out of personnel and become subject to political [misfortune] and are in effect held to ransom, then I think all South Africans must be troubled about this.”

Mark Heywood from Section27 said they would come back in their thousands to support Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Ivan Pillay.

He said it was a political vendetta against people in government who are fighting corruption inside departments.

“This is not just about Pravin Gordhan and Ivan Pillay; it’s an issue about our country, and how we fight corruption. We find it strange that the Hawks are calling them here, while at the same time the minister of transport has closed down or are trying to close an investigation at Prasa [Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa] that involves billions of rands,” he said.

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