Minister Pravin Gordhan loses court battle against EFF
Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has moved to downplay the dismissal of his application to have the Inspector General of Inteligence’s (IGI’s) SARS rogue unit report excluded from the EFF's defence in the hate speech case he is pursuing against its leader Julius Malema.
Gordhan’s legal action is directed against EFF president Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu over their attacks against him. These attacks include claims that he was "corrupt" and a "dog of white monopoly capital”.
In defence of Malema’s utterances, the EFF has sought to include allegations that Gordhan was party to the setting up of an allegedly illegal intelligence unit at the Sars while he was commissioner.
Gordhan’s lawyer Tebogo Malatji said the court order dismissing his application would not impact his court case against Malema, as it had nothing to do with the report.
“The intention was to make sure that these proceedings are not tainted by irrelevant material. Even with the introduction of the material, it makes no difference to the complaint. The IGI report has no bearing whatsoever to the hate speech complaint lodged against Mr Malema," Malatji said.
Malatji accused Malema and the EFF of using the report to deflect from the complaint lodged by Gordhan which related to derogatory statements he made against Gordhan.
In a statement on Monday, the party said the ruling was a key milestone to ensure accountability.
“Today’s judgment is a victory of accountability against an individual who feels above the law,” Ndlozi said.
Ndlozi said the ruling would allow the contents of the report to be ventilated in public.
Ndlozi said: “This means the IGI Report on the SARS Rogue Unit is part of the court records and now public. We welcome the opportunity given by this judgement for the IGI Rogue Unit Report to be deliberated in the open public court.”
After investigating the rogue unit saga, Mkhwebane found that Gordhan had violated the Constitution and the Executive Ethics Code and recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against him.
Mkhwebane also wanted State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo to implement the recommendations of the IGI report into the unit.
Gordhan has successfully applied for Mkhwebane’s report to be set aside, as he is taking it on judicial review.
On Monday, the EFF however appeared insistent on pointing to both reports as the basis for its allegations of criminality against Gordhan.
“Both a chapter 9 institution, in the form of the Public Protector and a Chapter 11 institution in the form of the Inspector General for Intelligence have found that Pravin Gordhan ran an illegal Intelligence Unit within SARS. They determined that he must be criminally prosecuted,” Ndlozi said.
The main case is set for 24 and 25 October.