Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s insistence that remedial action by the public protector be implemented immediately ignored the fact of a pending judicial review against her report.
This was the view of counsel for public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan‚ Michelle le Roux‚ in an application brought by President Cyril Ramaphosa that was heard in the Pretoria High Court on Thursday.
The president wants the court to declare that he had complied with the remedial action ordered by the public protector.
The public protector urged Ramaphosa in May to take appropriate action against Gordhan‚ after she found that Gordhan had unlawfully approved the early retirement of former senior South African Revenue Service (Sars) official Ivan Pillay.
Ramaphosa replied in June that he would not take action because Gordhan had launched an application to review the public protector’s report.
Le Roux said there was almost an idea that the public protector was not subject to judicial review and scrutiny.
“The rule of law requires accountability on the part of the public protector as well. This means she also needs to await the outcome of the review application before she insists on the implementation of the remedial action‚” said Le Roux.
But counsel for the public protector‚ Dali Mpofu SC‚ said he would show that the application by the president had no merit whatsoever.
Mpofu asked how the court could declare that the president had complied with remedial action if no action had been taken by Ramaphosa against Gordhan.
Mpofu said the public protector had directed in her remedial action that the president – within 30 days of her report – submit an implementation plan indicating how he would implement the recommended remedial action.
Mpofu said the president had not complied.
He said the president could therefore not come to court and ask it to declare that he had complied with the public protector’s remedial action.
The hearing continues.
Source: TMG Digital.