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Kathrada Foundation adamant Gordhan innocent over Ivan Pillay Sars payout

In a report, Busisiwe Mkhwebane found Pravin Gordhan guilty of improper conduct after he granted the early retirement payout of then Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan at a press briefing at Lethabo power station. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said it believed that former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was innocent.

It has come out in support of Gordhan while calling for the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office.

In a report released on the eve of President Cyril Ramaphosa's inauguration, Mkhwebane found Gordhan guilty of improper conduct after he granted the early retirement payout of then Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

But the foundation has accused the public protector of playing factional politics, adding that it's concerned about her competence and ability to discharge her duties.

Spokesperson Neeshan Balton said: “I think these allegations have been tested at least on two occasions by different institutions and one commission, who have found there was nothing untoward in them.”

Meanwhile, the EFF has criticised the foundation for its utterances.

It has also come out in defence of Mkhwebane, saying it regarded calls for her removal as an attack on a Chapter 9 institution.

In her remedial action, Mkhwebane instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against Gordhan for "violating the Constitution".

TIMING OF THE REPORT QUESTIONED

Freedom Under Law (FUL) said on Saturday it was dismayed but not surprised by the findings of the Public Protector's report on Gordhan.

FUL CEO Nicole Fritz said the timing of the release of Mkhwebane's report was questionable.

"She received responses from the proprieties only less than two days before publishing her report, which is the exact same matter which came before the prosecuting authority which led to the withdrawal of charges against Minister Gordhan, Mr Pillay and Mr Magashula. The Public Protector is attempting to serve the public a dish which has long since been cold."

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