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Cosatu calls on Ramaphosa to set aside all Mkhwebane’s reports

The union federation said it believed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was ill-qualified to make any judgments against anyone.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to set aside all Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s reports until her competency and trustworthiness have been ascertained.

“The federation does not believe that a contaminated Public Protector’s office should be allowed to tell other people whether they are guilty or not," the union federation said in a statement on Friday, citing a recent High Court ruling against the Public Protector.

“The Pretoria High Court ruling on the Estina matter that said that she failed in her duties under both the Public Protector Act and under the Constitution in investigating and reporting on the dairy farm project was a harsh indictment on her,” Cosatu said, adding that Mkhwebane had been impeached by her very disappointing standards in doing her job.

On Friday the Public Protector released her findings on several investigations that her office had been conducting, including a guilty finding against Minister Pravin Gordhan in a matter related to the authorisation of a pension fund payout for former deputy commissioner at the South African Revenue Service Ivan Pillay. Gordhan has since said he would challenge the findings.

The union federation said it believed Mkhwebane was ill-qualified to make any judgments against anyone.

Cosatu appealed to President Ramaphosa not to act on any of her reports until the Gauteng High Court ruling had been scrutinised and dealt with.

“There is a lot a stake in the country's fight against state capture and corruption and the Public Protector needs to prove that she has the credibility and the brain muscle to do the heavy lifting that her office requires,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have welcomed the Public Protector's findings against Gordhan.

Mkhwebane found Gordhan guilty of improper conduct over the early retirement debacle.

The red berets said the minister must do “the honourable thing” and step down.

They called on Ramaphosa to act against Gordhan as recommended by the Public Protector and then exclude him from his Cabinet.

Additional reporting by Robinson Nqola.

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