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From the moment Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane starting reading out her investigation report on Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, the social sphere was alive with parties for and against. The amount of attention being put onto Gordhan, shows how much is at stake for both sides. President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he’d wait for the High Court judgement on Gordhan before he follows any disciplinary action, while the Economic Freedom Fighters have already called on Ramaphosa to fire Gordhan. It seems everyone has a dog in this fight, and below we’ve published the Public Protector investigation report, with Pravin Gordhan’s response. Plus the response from the man in the middle of it all, Ivan Pillay. The question one has to ask themselves with all of this is, who has the most to lose… – Stuart Lowman
Public Protector investigation report into allegations of violation of Ethics Code by Pravin Gordhan as well as allegations of maladministration, corruption and improper conduct by the SARS
Media statement on behalf of Pravin Gordhan
- Neither the office of Minister Pravin Gordhan, nor anyone in his legal team had received a formal notice, correspondence or report from the Public Protector about alleged findings and remedial actions prior to these being announced by her to the media today, including on YouTube live streaming.
- Minister Gordhan has stated unequivocally that he is unreservedly committed to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. Whilst respecting the Office of the Public Protector – and cooperating with their investigations – Minister Gordhan, like many others, has recorded his serious misgivings about the incumbent, her conduct and her partiality.
- From today’s announcement, with respect to Minister Gordhan and his tenure as the former Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS), it is apparent that the Public Protector continues to get the facts wrong, get the law wrong and is demonstrably biased.
- The Constitution, in section 181, envisages the Office of the Public Protector to be independent, impartial, dignified and effective. To date, in this matter, it has failed in all four respects.
- We wish to thank the Public Protector for completing her process.
- It is now possible for the Public Protector’s investigation, the report and the proposed remedial action to be scrutinised by the courts. Minister Gordhan has instructed his legal representatives to consider the Public Protector’s report, upon its receipt, and to prepare an urgent review.
- We will announce the details of the envisaged legal action next week.
Media statement by Werksmans Attorneys on behalf of Ivan Pillay
Our client, Ivan Pillay (“Mr Pillay“) has noted the content of the media briefing held by the Public Protector on Friday, 5 July 2019. Unfortunately, Mr Pillay did not receive a copy of the report from the Public Protector prior to the aforesaid media briefing.
In relation to that which has been announced by the Public Protector during her media briefing:
- Mr Pillay emphatically denies all of the findings which are factually and legally flawed;
- the findings seem to demonstrate that either no, or at best very little investigations were conducted; and
- some of the findings demonstrate: (i) a complete lack of an understanding of SARS as an institution; (ii) some of the findings are patently false; and (iii) it is apparent that misinformation has been provided to the Public Protector.
Mr Pillay has requested us to publically release his initial affidavit which was submitted to the Public Protector on 23 April 2019 in terms of section 7(4)(a) as well as his further affidavit which was submitted to the Public Protector on 19 June 2019 in terms of section 7(9)(a). For ease of reference Mr Pillay’s affidavits are attached.
Once Mr Pillay and his legal representatives have had the opportunity of studying the Public Protector’s report, Mr Pillay will institute the appropriate legal proceedings for the protection and enforcement of his rights.
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