No need for PP’s remedial action to be urgently implemented, court told
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's lawyer, Advocate Wim Trengove, told the court that the issue today was not about whether the remedial action was competent and lawful.
PRETORIA – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's advocate has told the High Court that there is no need for the Public Protector's remedial action to implemented urgently as set out in her report related to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) investigative unit.
Gordhan has approached the High Court for an interdict in relation to Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report on the so-called rogue unit, pending a full judicial review.
Mkhwebane directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to initiate appropriate disciplinary action against Gordhan within 30 days of the release of the report.
Advocate Wim Trengove told the court that the issue today was not about whether the remedial action was competent and lawful.
“The question is whether those orders should be enforced despite the fact that there’s a challenge to the lawfulness. In other words, all the applicant is saying is that they challenge the law and this court should be given an opportunity to determine whether they were lawfully issued. In the meantime, they should not be implemented.”
Trengove said there is no urgency for the implementation of the remedial action.
“The conduct for which she seeks to have the minister punished is conduct that happened many years ago; almost a decade ago.
“But for some reason, the Public Protector suggests that the minister must be punished within 30 days and the implementation may not be delayed while the court determines whether the orders have been lawfully made.”
WATCH: Gordhan bids to halt PP's remedial action against him
‘GORDHAN MAY SUFFER IRREPARABLE HARM’
Trengove told the High Court that if the Public Protector's remedial action was implemented before his review application was finalised, he may suffer irreparable harm.
He said Mkhwebane’s own words demonstrated the harm which could be caused to Gordhan if the enforcement of the remedial action was not suspended.
“The strongest articulation of the irreparable harm comes from the mouth of the Public Protector, who says if the president were to fire you on the basis of my report today, a successful review may not get you back your job down the line, well that is so,” he argued.
Trengove said the balance of convenience favoured the minister.
“There is the risk of irreparable harm on the one side and no risk of any harm whatsoever. There’s no need for urgent implementation.”