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Gordhan’s lawyers want Mkhwebane to provide proof of collusion

Pravin Gordhan’s legal team has called on the Public Protector to set out the special circumstances she’s invoking to investigate allegations of improper conduct and violation of the Executive Ethics Code against the Public Enterprises minister.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Pravin Gordhan’s legal team has called on the Public Protector to set out the special circumstances she’s invoking to investigate allegations of improper conduct and violation of the Executive Ethics Code against the Public Enterprises minister.

While Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has agreed to extend the deadline for Gordhan to respond to claims about his involvement in the so-called South African Revenue Service (Sars) rogue unit, she says that she’s received information about an alleged meeting between the minister and revenue collector to coordinate their responses.

Mkhwebane has subpoenaed Gordhan to make submissions to her office following a complaint from the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Floyd Shivambu.

In a statement, the minister’s lawyer, Tebogo Malatji, said that they will be challenging Mkhwebane to provide proof about collusion on Gordhan’s part and why he is referred to as an implicated party.

The Public Protector’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, said that Minister Gordhan requested the deadline extension in order to allow Sars to obtain a legal opinion on whether it may handover documents for him to use in his submission.

However, Segalwe warned that if Sars does not co-operate, Mkhwebane would invoke provisions of the Public Protector’s Act and initiate contempt proceedings.

Mkhwebane has urged the public to allow her to conduct this investigation without hindrance.

Gordhan was Sars commissioner until 2009.

Additional reporting by Barry Bateman.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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