Different legal representatives at the North Gauteng High Court during a court battle between the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister of Public Enterprise Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Brenda Masilela / ANA

Pretoria - The legal representative of the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane told the court that she is opposing the application of the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, after he hurled insults in his application to interdict remedial actions against him in the so-called SA Revenue Service (SARS) rogue unit report.

"She usually would say he has the right to review the report, and if they want an interdict, let them have it. But against the background of these insults, she is forced to oppose it," said Advocate Thabani Masuku for Mkhwebane.

Masuku launched a scathing attack against Gordhan's application on Tuesday at the North Gauteng High Court, saying the minister had made scandalous allegations against the Public Protector.

Gordhan lodged an urgent application to suspend and interdict the remedial orders by the Public Protector in her so-called rogue unit report, citing "improper motives" on her part.

Mkhwebane found that the establishment of the unit was unlawful and that Gordhan, who was SARS commissioner at the time, had violated the Constitution.

Masuku said Gordhan's only basis for describing the Public Protector as corrupt and legally illiterate is because of the findings she made on the so-called rogue unit.

"I have no problem with the use of the word incompetence. But when you say legal illiterate, you are being inconsistent with the responsibility to protect the dignity of the office," Masuku said.

He said the minister is accusing the Public Protector of abusing her Constitutional powers to promote and support state capture and pursue corrupt political motives to remove him from power, yet is obliged by the Constitution as a minister to protect the Public Protector's dignity.

Masuku said Gordhan cannot be making wild allegations against Mkhwebane without evidence in a court of law.

"What should a responsible Public Protector do in the face of allegations that undermine the public's confidence in her office?" asked Masuku.

Masuku asked the judge not to tolerate Gordhan's attitude, even if he was in the right in his application for an interdict.

The arguments continue.

African News Agency (ANA)