Court rules in favour of Ramaphosa in Public Protector matter

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PRETORIA, August 8 – The North Gauteng High Court has ruled that President Cyril Ramaphosa has complied with the Public Protector’s remedial action made against the Minister of Public Enterprise Pravin Gordhan by deferring disciplinary action pending judicial review.

On Thursday, Judge Molopa-Sethosa said the remedial action by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was silent on the timeline for the president to take action against Gordhan.

South Africa – Pretoria – 19 July 2019 – Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane briefs the media at her office.
Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

This judgement allows Ramaphosa to await Gordhan’s review of the Public Protector’s report before deciding on what actions to take against him.

Molopa-Sethosa said it was “mind-boggling” that Mkhwebane would not consent to Ramaphosa’s request to suspend the remedial action against Gordhan as similar cases had recently been heard and interdicts were approved.

“The president is not opposing the disciplinary action against Gordhan but wants to wait pending the review, which is rational,” she said.

In May, Mkhwebane released her report into her investigation into Gordhan’s handling of former deputy SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement.

South Africa – Johannesburg – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan speaking as the Eskom group announced it’s annual results for the end of 31 March 2019 Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Gauteng.
Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

She had found that Gordhan acted unlawfully when he signed off on Pillay’s early retirement in 2010. Gordhan was the finance minister at the time.

After the early retirement was granted, SARS re-appointed Pillay in the same position on a fixed-term contract.

As part of her remedial action, Mkhwebane stated that Ramaphosa should take action against Gordhan for violating the Constitution.

Both Gordhan and Ramaphosa took issue with the report and its remedial action.

Judge Molopa-Sethosa ruled that the Public  Protector and the Economic Freedom Fighters must pay Ramaphosa’s costs in the matter.

– African News Agency (ANA)