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Mkhwebane relied on discredited info in Sars ‘rogue’ unit report, court finds

This was yet another blow for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in legal battles focusing on the so-called South African Revenue Service (Sars) ‘rogue’ unit report.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Pretoria High Court on Monday ruled that allegations of bias against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane were warranted.

This was yet another blow for Mkhwebane in legal battles focusing on the so-called South African Revenue Service (Sars) “rogue” unit report.

ALSO READ: Mkhwebane's findings on Gordhan: How did we get here?

The High Court set aside the Public Protector’s report into the unit and issued punitive costs order against Mkhwebane.

The court found that she relied on discredited information while compiling her report, which showed bias against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

Gordhan and Pillay had accused Mkhwebane of bias, saying she was determined to make adverse findings against them.

ALSO READ: I motivated for establishment of Sars probe unit, which was legal - Gordhan

The High Court believes those allegations were warranted.

Firstly, because the investigation and report into the unit fell outside of her jurisdiction and related to events that happened before her time in office.

Secondly, because Mkhwebane relied on a KPMG report despite it having been discredited.

And thirdly, because of her complete disregard of the Sunday Times apology and retired Judge Frank Kroon’s apology in 2018 at the Nugent commission.

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