South Africa: EFF to Appeal Interdict Granted in Favour of Gordhan Against Public Protector

Left: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Top-right: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Bottom-right: Gauteng High Court building.

The Economic Freedom Fighters have announced their intention to appeal the decision of the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in the matter between Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The party on Monday said it had "noted" the court's decision to grant Gordhan an interdict against the implementation of the Public Protector's remedial action in her SARS-related report findings against him.

"We are not surprised by this decision, which is why we had already declared on the day of proceedings, that we shall be going to the Constitutional Court," a party statement read.

"This is because we had realised how visibly irritated Judge Sulet Potterill was, when the black lawyers who were exclusively arguing against the exclusively white lawyers of [Pravin] Jamnandas Gordhan, [President Cyril] Ramaphosa, and all who wanted the interdict.

'It is a fight to the end'

"The judge was very pleased, and always willing to listen and hear the arguments of all those whites, whilst showing irritation, to the extent of constantly interrupting the black lawyers. In the proceedings, it was as if those black lawyers did not belong in that court.

"Nevertheless, above all, we believe that the interdict essentially shuts down what is a constitutionally created institution. We shall therefore appeal this decision with the Constitutional Court. It is a fight to the end."

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled earlier on Monday that Mkhwebane's remedial action against Gordhan be suspended pending a full review of her report, Fin24 reported.

Gordhan applied for an urgent interdict last Tuesday to suspend the remedial action in the SARS so-called 'rogue unit' report against him, while he sought a full judicial review.

Mkhwebane found, earlier in July, that the establishment of the unit, in 2007, was illegal and that it conducted unlawful intelligence. Gordhan was the tax agency's commissioner at the time. Her report was contrary to some of the findings made by the Nugent commission into the same unit.

Mkhwebane's remedial action stated Ramaphosa should discipline Gordhan within 30 days of her report.

She also directed the police and National Prosecuting Authority to consider pursuing criminal charges against him. She further gave National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise 14 days to refer Gordhan to Parliament's ethics committee to be investigated for violating the ethics code. This deadline passed on July 25.

Source: News24

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