Gordhan files court papers to set aside Public Protector's report
Pretoria - Lawyers acting for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday filed papers at the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to set aside the report issued by the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in which she recommended that remedial action be taken against him.
Mkhwebane released her report on Friday in which she directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against Gordhan for granting former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay early retirement in August 2010.
Gordhan will ask the court to declare that the public protector, in the investigation and finalisation of her report, failed to comply with her duties under the Public Protector Act and the Constitution.
The court will be asked to review and set aside the report and to declare her decision to exercise jurisdiction over the complaint of Pillay’s early retirement, unconstitutional, unlawful, irrational and invalid.
Gordhan will in the alternative ask that the court to set aside her decision on the basis that her discretion was improperly exercised.
The court will also be asked to declare the remedial action called for by Mkhwebane - that President Cyril Ramaphosa take action against Gordhan - be declared invalid.
Gordhan is also calling for the court to issue a personal costs order, on a punitive scale, against Mkhwebane.
No date has yet been set down for hearing, but Gorhan’s legal team asked that the office of the public protector within 15 days dispatch to the registrar the record of all documents and electronic records that relate to the decisions made by Mkhwebane, as well as her reasons for the adverse findings against Gordhan. .
Mkwebane, the President and Sars, who have been cited as respondents, have 15 days in which to note their intention to oppose the application. If they oppose, they have a further 30 days to file their opposing affidavits.
It is meanwhile understood that the legal teams of Pillay and former Sars head Oupa Magashula will meet this week to discuss the matter. They are expected to both file their review applications against Mkhwebane soon afterwards.
It is further understood that they too, will call for a punitive costs order against Mkhwebane in person.