Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s advocate Wim Trengove on Thursday asked the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria to order that Public Protector advocate Busi Mkhwebane pay costs of his lawsuit out of her own pocket.
Gordhan wants the full bench of the high court – judges Selby Baqwa, Leonie Windell and Annali Basson – to review and set aside Mhwebane’s report into former acting SA Revenue Service commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement with full pension benefits and subsequent retention at the taxman as well as her findings and the binding remedial action.
Trengove told the virtual hearing that his client wanted not only costs against the Public Protector’s Office but against her personally.
He said Mkhwebane had recklessly distorted the executive ethics code and has to this date not attempted to offer any explanation.
According to Trengove, Mkhwebane’s findings that Gordhan had breached the code were without evidence.
He explained that the public protector also wrongly accused Judge Sulet Potterill of deliberately misquoting her text and has so far not offered any apology.
”Her conduct is worthy of censure, censure should not be directed at her office but against the person,” Trengove said.
He further maintained that Mkhwebane was in breach of audi alteram partem (hear the other side) rule as she never gave any of the people against whom she made orders against an opportunity to hear their side.
Last year, Gordhan successfully interdicted the implementation of Mkhwebane’s report, which recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against the minister.
Ramaphosa also stated that remedial action was vague and impossible to implement as there was no employment relationship between him and Gordhan. The hearing continues.
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