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Another blow for the controversial Public Protector

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By Ashok Ramsarup :: South African Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has suffered another blow. This time in the Gauteng High Court in the Administrative Capital, Pretoria.   Judge Sulet Potterillinterdicted Mkhwebane from enforcing the remedial action in her report into an alleged rogue unit at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) after Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Jamnandas Gordhan lodged an urgent application.

Opposing this is the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The political party vowed to continue the fight against Gordhan. The EFF made its intentions known that it would appeal the decision. According to an EFF statement: “We will  be taking matter to the Constitutional Court.”

Judge Potterill indicated that Minister Gordhan had a prima facie case to have the interdict granted.  Ultimately nothing would happen on the remedial action.  Whilst this is a victory for the Minister, he now awaits a court review of Mkhwebane’sreport into SARS alleged rogue unit.

Reacting to the judgement, Gordhan welcomed the court’s decision as this was an important decision and it was an affirmation of his rights to procedural fairness.

In her report, Mkhwebane claimed that the alleged “rogue unit” — was unlawfully established and had conducted illegal intelligence gathering operations.  She also asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against Gordhanwithin 30 days.

It’s reported that Mkhwebane expressed her disappointment with the court judgement and she would be taken the matter on appeal.

A week ago, Constitutional Court – the highest court in the country – ruled against the Public Protector’s appeal against a personal cost order on a case pertaining to South African Reserve Bank. The court dismissed the appeal, indicating Mkhwebane acted in bad faith.  The court said Mkhwebane had to pay a portion of the legal costs.

Ashok Ramsarup is award-winning senior journalist of South Africa 🇿🇦 

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