Cape Town - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has filed papers in the high court in Pretoria in his attempt to have Public Protector (PP) Busisiwe Mkwebane's findings on the Treasury director-general set aside.
Treasury released a statement, along with a copy of Mboweni's founding affidavit, on Friday in which it outlines the finance minister's reasons for challenging Mkhwebane's finding that DG Dondo Mohajane had acted dishonestly when he did not disclose his criminal record for a speeding offence when he applied for his job.
Mboweni argued the PP's findings were irrational because she did not have due regard to the facts of the case, and that there was no "rational connection between the findings and remedial action". Mkhwebane recommended disciplinary action be taken against Mohajane.
The minister further argued in his papers that the fact that Mkhwebane requires the president to submit an implementation plan with regard to her recommendation that Mohajane be disciplined infringed the doctrine of separation of power.
"To the extent that prior approval by the PP of the implementation plan is required, the remedial action amounts to an unconstitutional breach of the separation of powers in that it effectively usurps the President’s executive constitutional powers to appoint and discipline Directors-General and arrogates this power to the PP," the Treasury statement said.
In his founding affidavit, Mboweni accepts Mohajane's explanation that a subordinate had filled in his application form and had not known of the criminal conviction. Mohajane claims to have signed the form without reading it first.
"The form was completed by the respondent's divisional support manager and he failed to ensure its accuracy before he signed. This was an oversight on the part of the third respondent [Mohajane] for which he rightly accepts full responsibility," the affidavit reads.
Mboweni contends that the National Treasury was fully aware of his conviction before he applied for the position of DG, and that alone should render the PP's finding irrational.
"This alone renders the PP's finding that the third respondent intended to mislead his employer by withholding that information irrational."
African News Agency (ANA)