Pretoria - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was ordered by the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to keep her report regarding her findings on Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti under wraps for now.
This is pending an application he aims to launch, in which he will ask the court to review the findings and to set it aside.
Nkwinti has 30 days from now to issue his review application. If he does not, the interdict preventing the public protector from making her report public, will lapse.
The urgent order made by Judge Cassin Sardiwalla on Thursday will in effect mean that President Cyril Ramaphosa will in the meantime not act on the remedial action ordered by the public protector against Nkwinti.
Although the report is said to have been leaked, Nkwinti’s lawyer, Mxolisi Myambo warned that anyone who further reported on the findings, would be in contempt of court.
Judge Sardiwalla merely read out his order and did not give reasons for his findings at this stage.
It was argued by the minister that the public protector did not grant him sufficient time to react to the adverse findings against him regarding the purchase of a farm.
Court ordered public protector not to release report on minister Gugile Nkwinti at this stage, pending outcome of review proceedings by him to set report aside. @pretorianews @IOL pic.twitter.com/M3zbByjLkj— Zelda Venter (@ZeldaVenter) May 9, 2019
He objected to her findings that he had violated the executive ethics code and the Constitution while he was still the minister of rural development and land reform.
The public protector took more than two years to investigate a complaint by DA MP Thomas Walters that Nkwinti abused his office and unduly influenced his department to buy the Bekendvlei farm in Limpopo in 2011.
The public protector could not find that Nkwinti was guilty of corruption, but she did recommend that President Cyril Ramaposa act against him for violating the ethics code.
Nkwinti was on April 2 served with a notice, informing him of her findings. He was given 18 days to respond, but said given the elections and his full diary, this was not sufficient time.