Lawyers for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane have accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of protecting his political ally, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan from facing Mkhwebane’s remedial actions.
This comes after Ramaphosa approached the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to suspend Mkhwebane’s remedial actions instructing him to discipline Minister Gordhan.
She found Minister Gordhan guilty of maladministration for approving the early pension pay-out of former Sars Deputy Commissioner Ivan Pillay.
Mkhwebane further instructed Ramaphosa to discipline Minister Gordhan.
However, Ramaphosa has not done so.
He argued in court that he is awaiting the outcome of Gordhan’s judicial review of Mkhwebane’s report.
Advocate Dali Mpofu says, “So, the whole country must be held at ransom while we wait for the review until maybe Ramaphosa and Gordhan are out of power? Office of Public Protector will be killed and blunted if remedial actions are interdicted.”
EFF legal representative Advocate Vincent Maleka says, “There is a clear possibility that the President may never come to a point of disciplining Minister Gordhan.”
However, Ramaphosa’s legal team argued that the Presidents’ approach to await the outcome of the judicial review is in line with the constitution.
They further argued that Mkhwebane is not above the law and cannot dictate to the President on the matter.
President’s legal representative Advcate Hamilton Maenetje says, “Mkhwebane must subject herself to judicial scrutiny. She cannot insist on the implementation of remedial actions even if they are wrong in law.”
Mkhwebane’s lawyers further argued that it should have been Minister Gorhan and not the President to approach the court on this matter.
However, this was disputed.
Gordhan’s lawyer Advocate Michelle Le Roux says, “Public Protector, thinking that only Gordhan can seek relief in the matter, the president has stand (sic) here because he is the one that needs to do something. He was left with no choice but to approach the court.”
The court has reserved judgement.
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