Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg- Gloves are off between Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane over the investigation into the early retirement of former SA Revenue Service deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

On Sunday Gordhan, through his lawyers, took a swipe at Mkhwebane, saying any suggestion that he had not responded to her enquiries or his responses were not forthcoming were “simply deceptive, false and incorrect”.

He made these statement after Mkhwebane tweeted last week that she wrote to Gordhan four times between February and July 2018 requesting a response to allegations levelled against him.

Mkhwebane issued a subpoena on October 2 for Gordhan to answer questions for approving Pillay’s early retirement.

Gordhan’s lawyer Tebogo Malatji said it was alleged that the minister’s approval of Pillay’s early retirement and re-employment in 2010 amounted to maladministration, dishonesty and impropriety in dealing with public funds. The complaint was made by former president Jacob Zuma’s speech writer, Lebogang Hoveka.

“We wrote to the Public Protector on February 16, expressly stating that we require that we be provided the particulars and evidence of the alleged dishonesty and impropriety on the part of Minister Gordhan.

“To date, such evidence and particulars have not been provided,” Malatji said.

Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segwale said the first of four letters sent to Gordhan was for purposes of requesting documents in the light of the allegations in the complaint.

“We call it a ‘document request letter’. This was part of a preliminary investigation, through which we determine the veracity of the allegations and establish if there are grounds for a full-scale investigation or not.

“The required documents never came, hence the subpoena,” Segwale said. The minister is due to appear before Mkhwebane on Wednesday, a day before he testifies before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture.

Political Bureau