Lawyers for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Monday said the so-called South African Service (Sars) ‘rogue unit’ saga showed that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane acted without regard for the Constitution, which calls for her to be impartial.
On Monday, the Pretoria High Court set aside Mkhwebane’s report into the unit.
The court found she relied on discredited information, showing bias against Gordhan and former deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay.
In another scathing ruling against Mkhwebane, the High Court ruled the investigation into the so-called ‘rogue unit’ fell outside of her jurisdiction and related to events before her time in office, yet she still pursued it.
Lawyer for Gordhan, Tebogo Malatji, said this was a win for the minister: “We are satisfied that the report is a product of a wholly irrational process bereft of any sound or legal basis and this is what we’ve been saying all along, that the Public Protector has gotten it wrong all along as a matter of law and as a matter of effect.”
Meanwhile, the Public Protector’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said they were studying the court ruling.
“The Public Protector will study the grounds on which the High Court set aside the evidence-based findings and the related appropriate remedial action with the view to exploring the options that are available to her.”
The court has also ordered Mkhwebane to personally pay 15% of Gordhan’s, as well as Pillay’s and George Magashula’s legal costs.
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