Since February, when the Hawks sent Pravin Gordhan a set of 27 questions on the eve of the budget, the signs of his removal and arrest have been abundant.But when it began to unfold on Tuesday, it was nonetheless gutting. The market response was predictable: the rand lost 3% and about R30bn was wiped off the market capitalisation of SA’s main banks in just a few hours. All this for the cost of a R1m pension top-up to former South African Revenue Service (SARS) deputy head Ivan Pillay that the National Prosecuting Authority is going to have a hard time proving was illegal.More damaging than the pain inflicted on the markets is the pain that the charging of the finance minister inflicts on our body politic. It is demonstrably clear that there remains deep determination from certain political quarters to grab control of the nation’s purse strings. The setbacks of the past few months — court rulings on Nkandla and the spy tapes; the campaign to remove President Jacob Zuma from office; t...

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