Johannesburg - The Public Protector has again said that she would defend the case against her office, while former South African Revenue Services (Sars) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay has revealed that he passed his matric in 1970, following claims in the Public Protector’s report that he had secured a plum job at the revenue services without the necessary qualifications.
Mkhwebane’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, said the Public Protector’s Office would defend the case against them.
“Previously we indicated that we were going to defend the case against us. If Mr Ivan Pillay joins, it means it is still the same case,” Segalwe said.
Pillay made his revelation when he joined Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s urgent application to interdict the public protector’s report.
On Monday, Pillay filed a detailed affidavit in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, challenging the findings of the public protector, including allegations that he did not have a matric certificate.
The affidavit on Monday was in support of Gordhan’s main application filed last Wednesday - Pillay in the affidavit said he planned to also lodge a separate application to set aside the protector’s report. He is expected back in the country on August 15.
In her report, Mkhwebane said Gordhan, Pillay and other Sars officials were instrumental in the formation of a “rogue unit” at Sars which apparently spied on high-profile people and the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), also known as the Scorpions.
It is also alleged in the report that they spied on activities at the National Prosecuting Authority.
In his affidavit, Pillay stated that he met former State Security Minister David Mahlobo in December 2015 and February 2016 to discuss the "rogue unit".
“During both these meetings Minister Mahlobo, of his own accord, stated, inter alia:
* That he knew “the allegations about the rogue unit were untrue”;
* That the then Sars commissioner Tom Moyane “was pushing a personal and very short-term agenda”; and
* That he would ensure that then president Jacob Zuma was fully briefed to this effect,” Pillay said.
He also said he matriculated in 1970 after having completed his secondary education at Merebank High School. Pillay admitted that he was not in possession of a post-matric qualification.
Pillay also challenged Mkhwebane’s recommendation to the national director of public prosecutions, advocate Shamila Batohi, to act against him and his former Sars co-accused as an intrusion in the area of specific competence and responsibility of the NPA.
“The Public Protector has effectively pronounced upon my guilt,” Pillay said. He accused Mkhwebane of intruding on the work and competence of the police, saying the matter was investigated and concluded by police and the NPA in September 2016.