High Court in Pretoria sets aside Mkhwebane’s report on ‘SARS rogue unit’

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The High Court in Pretoria has set aside Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on the so-called SARS Rogue Unit. In its judgment, the court issued a punitive costs order against Mkhwebane.

In the report, Mkhwebane found that former SARS commissioner Pravin Gordhan, who is the current Public Enterprises Minister, had misled Parliament by failing to disclose that he held a meeting with members of the Gupta family. She also found that Gordhan had violated intelligence laws by overseeing the establishment of the rogue unit.

The SARS Rogue Unit report had recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa discipline Gordhan for maladministration and corruption.

The court also said Mkhwebane relied on discredited information to compile her report and was biased against Gordhan and former SARS executive, Ivan Pillay.

In May, Mkhwebane and the EFF lost their bid to interdict Gordhan’s review of the SARS rogue unit report. The Pretoria High Court had granted Gordhan an interdict to halt remedial action taken while he took the report on review.

However, the Constitutional Court found that the High Court ruling had been in accordance with the law. It found that the argument that a stricter test for interim interdicts against the Public Protector was without merit.

The Apex court also ruled that the High Court had followed precedent set out in previous cases and was within jurisdiction.

Analysis of the Constitutional Court’s judgment on the so-called SARS rogue unit: