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Pravin Gordhan to challenge PP's reports

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Gordhan violated the Constitution by approving the establishment of the so-called rogue unit, adding that only the president had the constitutional mandate to do so.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday said he would challenge the Public Protector’s reports against him.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Gordhan violated the Constitution by approving the establishment of the intelligence unit, adding that only the president had the constitutional mandate to do so. The unit was called the High Risk Investigations Unit, and was alleged to have carried out rogue operations, such as bugging the National Prosecuting Authority's offices. The unit was set up to investigate high-profile tax offenders.

• 5 key findings the PP made against Pravin Gordhan

She also gave President Cyril Ramaphosa 30 days to take disciplinary action against Gordhan.

However, Gordhan’s spokesperson Adrian Lackay said the minister had serious misgivings about Mkhwebane’s partiality.

“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,” Lackay said in a statement.

“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 Public Protector found that Gordhan violated the Executive Ethics Code by deliberately misleading Parliament over a meeting with the Guptas.

Meanwhile, the EFF welcomed the report and called on the president to fire Gordhan from Cabinet.

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