The Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File picture Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency.

Pretoria - The Mpumalanga premier's office and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan have been slammed by Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane for their involvement in irregular payments made to a service provider and a senior public servant respectively. 

Mkhwebane on Friday released over a dozen reports on various complaints on maladministration in her office in Tshwane.

The public protector ordered President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against Gordhan for approving the early retirement of former SA Revenue Service (SARS) acting commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement and its payment of a penalty of over R1.1 million which was levied against his pension benefits.

Mkhwebane found that Pillay was not entitled to early retirement with full pension benefits and that there was no need to seek Gordhan’s approval, which amounted to improper conduct.

According to Mkhwebane, the Mpumalanga premier's office, under Deputy President David Mabuza, irregularly spent over R70m on the memorial service of former president Nelson Mandela in December 2013.

Mkhwebane ordered the provincial government’s former director-general Dr. Nonhlanhla Mkhize face the music for approving the appointment of Carol Bouwer Productions to organise the event when the company had already started its work.

The public protector ordered Mabuza’s successor Refilwe Mtsweni to inform her KwaZulu-Natal counterpart Sihle Zikalala to take appropriate action against Mkhize.

Mkhize is now the KwaZulu-Natal government director-general.

Mabuza’s office also came under fire for the purchase of three luxury cars – an Audi A8, BMW X5 and a Range Rover Vogue for nearly R4m in violation of the provisions of the ministerial handbook.

The R4m was declared unauthorised and irregular expenditure by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu.

Mkhwebane, however, found that there was no evidence that Mabuza was involved in the procurement of the vehicles and there was no violation of Executive Ethics Code.

She also ordered Mtsweni to inform Zikalala to take action against Mkhize for incurring unauthorised and irregular expenditure.

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