Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).

Gordhan welcomes high court ruling, questions Mkhwebane's 'legal literacy'

By Emsie Ferreira Time of article published Jul 29, 2019

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CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has welcomed the ruling in the North Gauteng High Court suspending Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's sanction of him and reiterated that he believes her to be unfit for her post. 

In a statement, Gordhan's legal counsel Malatji & Co Attorneys said Judge Sulet Potterill's ruling was an important affirmation of his rights to procedural fairness. 

Mkhwebane ordered that President Cyril Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against Gordhan within 30 days in her report on allegations that he allowed the creation of a "rogue" intelligence unit within the South African Revenue Service about a decade ago. 

Potterill said in her ruling that Gordhan could suffer irreparable harm should the remedial action be implemented pending his review application on the report, particularly if that application were successful. 

She rejected as "askew" Mkhwebane's counter argument that it would interfere with the constitutional powers of the institutions tasked with implementing her remedial action to grant an interdict suspending it. 

The judge added that the remedial action in itself was for the the most part "vague, contradictory and/or nonsensical". 

Gordhan's lawyers, speaking on the minister's behalf, again said that while the minister had the highest regard for the watchdog chapter nine institution, he called into question the competence of the incumbent. 

"He doubts the competence, integrity, legal literacy and constitutional grasp of its incumbent, of her powers, duties and functions." 

They said Potterill confirmed that Mkhwebane had failed to explain the special circumstances she relied on to entertain a complaint on a matter that happened more than two years ago, as required by the legislation governing her office. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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