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Suspension of remedial action does not weaken PP's powers - Judge

This was among Judge Sulet Potteril’s findings on Monday morning when she granted Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s application to interdict the enforcement of the remedial action in the report related to the South African Revenue Service’s so-called rogue unit.

Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane delivering her findings against President Cyril Ramaphosa on 19 July 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

PRETORIA - The High Court in Pretoria has found that it defies all logic to proceed with implementing the remedial action of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report when the report, as the basis for such remedial action, is the subject of a judicial review.

This was among Judge Sulet Potteril’s findings on Monday morning when she granted Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s application to interdict the enforcement of the remedial action in the report related to the South African Revenue Service’s so-called rogue unit.

In the report released earlier this month, Mkhwebane instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to initiate disciplinary steps against Gordhan within 30 days.

Mkhwebane and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposed the minister’s application.

Judge Potterill accepted Gordhan’s submission that he faced irreparable harm if the remedial action was not suspended.

“It defies all logic to proceed with the execution of the remedial action in the report, as the basis for the remedial action is the subject of judicial review.”

She further rejected Mkhwebane’s claim that her office would be undermined if the order was granted.

“A suspension of the remedial order does not weaken the Public Protector’s office. Every person under the Constitution has a right to review a report, this includes the minister. The mere fact that the minister does so, does not weaken the Public Protector’s powers.”

The judge ordered the Public Protector and the EFF to pay the costs of the application.

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