Ivan Pillay: Public Protector’s remedial action is ‘improper’

 

 

The Public Protector has improperly intruded on the terrain of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in her recent report on the so-called “rogue unit” at the South African Revenue Service (Sars), former deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay said on Monday.

Pillay filed court papers supporting the court case instituted by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan seeking to set aside the report and urgently interdict the remedial action she directs. In his papers, Pillay said he would also be bringing his own review application.

READ MORE: Sars’s power to gather intelligence finally goes to court

In her report, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane made a number of findings against both Gordhan and Pillay, including that an investigating unit of Sars established in 2007 — widely known as the “rogue unit” — was unlawfully formed and had conducted illegal intelligence gathering operations.

In her report, the police are directed to investigate “the criminal conduct of Messrs Gordhan, Pillay and officials involved in the SARS intelligence unit, for violation of section 209 of the Constitution and section 3 of the National Strategic Intelligence Act”.

Mkhwebane also instructs national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi to “note” that Mkhwebane is “aware” of the criminal proceedings against Pillay, adding that “effective steps should be taken to finalise the court process as the matter has been remanded several times already”.

Pillay said that Mkhwebane “ought full well to know that the Constitution enjoins the NPA to act without fear, favour or prejudice. Her demand on the National Director undermines the independence of the NPA”.

He said that Mkhwebane had made “extremely serious findings against me without any regard to the evidence, without revealing who her informants are and without affording me the benefit of a trial. Now she makes the outrageous demand that the [NDPP], who is currently engaged in the process of reviewing the decision taken to prosecute, should march to her drum”.

The direction to the police was also an intrusion on its terrain, he said, adding that the police had already investigated the formation of the unit and it had been concluded, he said.

Pillay said Mkhwebane had mostly ignored the evidence he had given her before she released her report. Pillay had submitted two affidavits and a number of documents to her. “It is plain that the Public Protector has failed to have regard to the most fundamental requirement of fairness by finding me to be a liar without giving any reason for making such a finding,” Pillay said.

Pillay said he stood by his submission that Mkhwebane was perpetuating the narrative of a rogue unit in Sars, which was untrue said Pillay. “I firmly believe that the manifest bias, capriciousness and irrationality of the Report bear out what I have stated.” 


Read Pillay’s answering affidavit below.

Ivan Pillay’s Answering Affidavit by Mail and Guardian on Scribd

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Franny Rabkin
Franny Rabkin
Franny is the legal reporter at the Mail & Guardian
Advertising

‘Tenderpreneurs’ block the delivery of protective equipment to schools

Protests by local suppliers have delayed PPE delivery, which according to the DBE, is one of the reasons the reopening of schools has been pushed back until June 8

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing
Advertising

Press Releases

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday