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Sars rogue unit, Gordhan dominate questions at Mkhwebane inquiry

PPSA investigator Bianca Mvuyana during her testimony. Picture: screenshot

PPSA investigator Bianca Mvuyana during her testimony. Picture: screenshot

Published Feb 28, 2023


Cape Town - The issue of the report into the SA Revenue Service (Sars) “rogue unit” investigation by the State Security Agency (SSA) and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s role in the affair dominated the inquiry into suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

Senior counsel Dali Mpofu, who led subpoenaed Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) investigator Bianca Mvuyana in her testimony, said the inquiry was based on Mkhwebane’s conduct in the rogue unit investigation and the litigation that followed.

Mpofu said most of the charges brought against Mkhwebane in the impeachment process were primarily based on court judgments but that such judgments should not be binding on the inquiry as that would be tantamount to carrying out an investigation with a predetermined outcome.

Senior counsel Dali Mpofu asked questions on behalf of Mkhwebane. Picture: Screenshot

Mpofu said Mkhwebane was accused of conspiracy in her investigation into the rogue unit, an accusation she rejects, and put it to

Mvuyana that the real source of the allegations of conspiracy would be the people who brought that case to court.

Mpofu named Gordhan as having alleged there was a conspiracy by the PPSA and as the applicant in the cases that led to the judgments.

He then asked Mvuyana if she agreed that Gordhan was the originator of the conspiracy allegations, wouldn’t his evidence be relevant to the committee.

Mvuyana said: “Obviously the reason for those reports is because Gordhan made an application to court alleging that you’ve said that the PP was biased and the investigation was not conducted properly.”

In August the committee was told by the PPSA’s former manager of investigations, Ponatshego Mogaladi, that the report was sent to the public protector’s office by EFF MP Floyd Shivambu.

This testimony clashed with Mkhwebane’s version of events, which was that the report into the Sars unit was dropped off at her office by an anonymous whistle-blower.

Mvuyana’s testimony, which has been put off twice due to procedural hitches, follows that of her senior at the PPSA, Rodney Mataboge, who was subpoenaed to give evidence last week.

Mataboge’s testimony, led by committee evidence leader senior counsel Nazreen Bawa, mainly revolved around the investigations regarding Gordhan and the Inspector-General of Intelligence report into the rogue unit.

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Cape Argus