Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Busisiwe Mkhwebane declines to comment on High Court scrapping IG report she had sought

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 9, 2020

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Johannesburg - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has declined to comment on the North Gauteng High Court judgment which set aside a "Sars rogue" unit report which she had sought to use in her investigation into a similar matter.

High Court Judge Sulet Potterill ruled on Monday that the Inspector General of Intelligence's report, compiled in October 2014, should be reviewed and set aside. The report had found that a rogue united existed at the SA Revenue Service (Sars) while former commissioner Pravin Gordhan was in charge of the organisation. The report was titled; "Report on the investigations into media allegations against the Special Operations Unit or branches of the State Security Agency".

The report had made several allegations against former officials at Sars including Gordhan, former official Johann van Loggerenberg and Ivan Pillay and recommended that they be criminally charged.

Mkhwebane released her report which investigated the existence of a Sars rogue unit and report was released in 2019. The report found Gordhan violated the executive code of ethics for his involvement in setting up the unit. Mkhwebane recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa should discipline Gordhan.

However, Mkhwebane's remedial action was suspended after Gordhan successfully obtained an interdict suspending the remedial action until his appeal against the report was heard. Mkhwebane and the EFF in last month lost a Constitutional Court bid to have the interdict, awarded to Gordhan, set aside.

Mkhwebane had sought the intelligence report in 2019 before and after her report into the Sars rogue unit matter was released. She had supported the EFF's court application to oppose State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo's attempts to keep the IG report classified. Mkhwebane said Dlodlo had indicated that she would give her the report but did not do so.

When approached for comment on Tuesday, the Public Protector's office decided to comment on Monday's judgment.

"The report that was reviewed and set aside is that of the Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence, not the Public Protector. Further, the Public Protector was not a party in the litigation that led to the decision to review and set the report aside. Accordingly, the Public Protector declines to comment," spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said. 

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