Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane notes the judgment of the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria, which was handed down electronically on Monday, her office has announced in a statement.
The ruling relates to a review application by Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan in respect of her report on an investigation into allegations of a violation of the Executive Ethics Code by Mr Gordhan as well as allegations of maladministration, corruption and improper conduct by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
“The report focused purely on the laws that were breached when an illegal intelligence unit was established at SARS and the unlawful operations the unit engaged in.
“Evidence to this effect abounds,” the statement said.
“Nonetheless, with the help of her legal team, Adv. Mkhwebane will study the grounds upon which the court set aside her evidence-based findings and the related appropriate remedial action, with a view to exploring the options available to her.
“But while skimming through the judgment, she took note of the court’s decision to strike out the vitriol that Minister Gordhan directed at her in litigation, with the full bench labelling such inappropriate behavior by the Minister “irrelevant, scandalous and prejudicial”.
“In court papers, the Minister had said he doubted Adv. Mkhwebane’s competence, integrity, legal literacy and her constitutional grasp of her powers, duties and functions. He further launched into a tirade against her, saying she was unfit for office, had ulterior and political motives. He has to date failed to prove those motives both in court and as recently as last week at the State Capture Commission,” the statement read.
“Adv. Mkhwebane had applied to the court to strike out a number of paragraphs in the Minister’s founding affidavit on the basis that the passages in question were scandalous, vexatious, threatening and largely irrelevant.
“Until she has thoroughly studied the judgement, Adv. Mkhwebane will not make further comments on the matter,” the statement concluded.