PRETORIA - The North Gauteng High Court was told on Thursday that president Cyril Ramaphosa was using delay tactics in instituting disciplinary action against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and undermining the office of the public protector.
Legal representatives for Ramaphosa and public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane were squaring off in court over if the president was obliged to act on Mkhwebane's instruction to take action against Gordhan for an early retirement payout to former SARS executive, Ivan Pillay.
The EFF were also part of the proceedings, in support of Mkhwebane.
Party leader Julius Malema attended the proceedings with senior leadership.
Acting for EFF, Advocate Vincent Maleka told the court that Ramaphosa had failed to live up to his constitutional obligation of promoting unity within different arms of the state.
Maleka said Ramaphosa had shown favour to Gordhan and comprised the office of the public protector.
"The president has refused to meaningfully engage with the remedial action of the public protector, and allow minister Gordhan to go to court.
"A responsible and accountable president would have called Gordhan and told him he plans to implement the public protector's remedial action, and asked [Gordhan] to give him reasons not to," Maleka argued.
Earlier in proceedings, Advocate Dali Mpofu, acting for for Mkhwebane, took aim at Ramaphosa's legal papers, saying first year students would find them inconsistent.
Mpofu argued that Ramaphosa could not blow hot and hold.
"[Ramaphosa] says he complied with the remedial action but also wants an interdict not to comply and postpone the remedial action against Gordhan."
According to Mpofu, Ramaphosa was playing proxy for Gordhan when he applied for an interdict to stay the disciplinary action against the minister.
"This application should have been brought by Gordhan," said Mpofu.
The matter continues.
African News Agency (ANA)