South Africa: Biased Public Protector's Conduct 'Reprehensible', High Court Finds, Hands Gordhan Comprehensive Victory

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane (file photo).
analysis

Mkhwebane's conduct in the course of her investigation into Pravin Gordan and a so-called SARS "rogue unit" has been described by the Gauteng High Court as "without foundation, particularly as this conclusion is based on discredited reports and unsubstantiated facts". She also must pay 15% of the court's costs.

On Monday, 7 December 2020, Gauteng division Judges Selby Baqwa, Annali Basson and Leonie Windell directed that their findings be sent to the Legal Practice Council to consider Mkhwebane's "shockingly inappropriate and unwarranted" attack on Pretoria High Court Judge Sulet Potterill in the PP's attempt to contest Gordhan's review of her report.

The judges, in a 111-page ruling, finally put to rest Mkhwebane's conclusion in her report that Gordhan had established an illegal unit at SARS as being "without foundation, particularly as this conclusion is based on discredited reports and unsubstantiated facts."

Her report, the court held, "fails at every point" and the judges were satisfied "that the Report is the product of a wholly irrational process, bereft of any sound legal or factual basis."

Mkhwebane's report could not stand "and must be set aside."

The PP's conclusion also that Gordhan had misled parliament was "simply wrong" and the...

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