Public Protector: You’re welcome to take me to court

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said that those who are aggrieved with Mkwebane’s findings are welcome to approach the courts.

“If those found to have acted wrongly are aggrieved at the Public Protector’s findings and remedial action, they have the right to approach the courts for recourse,” he said.

“The Public Protector respects and advocates for the respect of the rule of law and justice, and so she will definitely co-operate.”

Segalwe was responding to questions by Fin24 after various calls for Mkwebane to be fired and for her reports to be set aside until her competency and trustworthiness had been ascertained. Segalwe did not respond to specific questions and this was all he was prepared to say.

This comes after Mkhwebane found against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday, saying that allegations of improper conduct against Gordhan were substantiated. The finding relates to Gordhan’s approval of an early retirement package and payout to then-South African Revenue Services’s  (Sars) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay. Gordhan was Finance Minister at the time.

READ MORE: Public Protector finds Gordhan guilty of maladministration in Pillay pension payout

As part of her findings, Mkhwebane’s remedial action included that President Cyril Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against Gordhan and that SARS recover the money.

Gordhan, Pillay and former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula have all said they intend to challenge the ruling.

Meanwhile SARS has said it is studying the report.

Freedom Under Law, Cosatu, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and the Democratic Alliance have all also called for Mkhwebane’s head. The Economic Freedom Fighters has however since called for Ramaphosa to not reappoint Gordhan to his Cabinet in light of the findings.

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