The more business owners emigrate, the worse the consequences for job creation, says Solly Moeng.
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan says his legal team will prepare an urgent review of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report in to the so-called SARS 'rogue unit' - once they receive it.
Gordhan's lawyer Tebogo Malatji issued a statement on Gordhan's behalf on Friday afternoon, following the release of the Public Protector's report on an investigation into allegations of the SARS so-called rogue unit.
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan says his legal team will prepare an urgent review of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report into the so-called SARS 'rogue unit' - once they receive it.
Read his full statement below:
"1) Neither the office of Minister Pravin Gordhan, nor anyone in his legal team had received a formal notice, correspondence or report from the Public Protector about alleged findings and remedial actions prior to these being announced by her to the media today, including on YouTube live streaming.
"2) Minister Gordhan has stated unequivocally that he is unreservedly committed to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. Whilst respecting the Office of the Public Protector – and cooperating with their investigations - Minister Gordhan, like many others, has recorded his serious misgivings about the incumbent, her conduct and her partiality.
"3) From today’s announcement, with respect to Minister Gordhan and his tenure as the former Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS), it is apparent that the Public Protector continues to get the facts wrong, get the law wrong and is demonstrably biased.
"4) The Constitution, in section 181, envisages the Office of the Public Protector to be independent, impartial, dignified and effective. To date, in this matter, it has failed in all four respects.
"5) We wish to thank the Public Protector for completing her process.
"6) It is now possible for the Public Protector’s investigation, the report and the proposed remedial action to be scrutinized by the courts. Minister Gordhan has instructed his legal representatives to consider the Public Protector’s report, upon its receipt, and to prepare an urgent review.
"7) We will announce the details of the envisaged legal action next week."
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has delivered a hammer blow to Gordhan, a staunch ally of president Cyril Ramaphosa. She has found merit in long standing and disproved allegations surrounding a unit established at the South African Revenue Service in 2007, later known as the 'rogue unit'.
In legal and political terms, her findings are disastrous for Gordhan, who will no doubt take the matter to court. - Kyle Cowan
BREAKING: Gordhan has not received Mkhwebane's report, and is considering his legal options.
Gordhan's spokesperson, Adrian Lackay, told News24: "We watched the Public Protector's announcement on Youtube. We have not received a notice, a finding or a report from the Public Protector's office. We are deciding about our strategy which could including an interdict or taking the report on review."
Gordhan is currently overseas.
Mkhwebane denies that she is part of an anti-Ramaphosa faction. She says she is just doing her work without fear or favour.
Mkhwebane now responding to more questions from journalists.
She is asked to explain what activities the rogue unit undertook.
Mkhwebane says she has evidence that the unit conducted covert intelligence operations that were not related to Sars.
Mkhwebane's speech ended with quotes by Mandela and the Bible.
“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
"The book of Esther, Chapter 4, reads thus: 'And so I will go to the King, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!'"
Earlier, Mkhwebane was adamant that the implementation of her findings must go ahead even if the parties want to take her report on review.
"I look forward to the full implementation of remedial action in all these reports. I reiterate that the mere action of instituting review proceedings does not suspend implementation. If anyone wish to both institute review proceedings and suspend the implementation, I advise them to obtain a court interdict staying implementation. It is important that we draw a distinction between an appeal and a review. Failure to do this might amount to acting in a manner that is inconsistent with the Constitution and the law," she said.
Mkhwebane's remedial action:
(i) To take note of the findings in this report in so far as they related to the erstwhile Minister of Finance, Mr Gordhan and to take appropriate disciplinary action against him for his violation of the Constitution and the Executive Ethics Code within 30 days of issuing of this report."
Gordhan's "violation of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests for Assembly and Permanent Council Members" must be referred to Parliament's Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interest, she says, within 14 working days.
Mkhwebane says she has evidence in her possession that confirms the existence of intelligence equipment. If Sars' operations were lawful, it is unclear why Sars kept this a secret, she says. Mkhwebane says she can only conclude that this is because they did not follow proper procurement procedures.
On the recruitment allegations - allegations that no recruitment processes were followed is substantiated.
On the Sars "rogue unit": Mkhwebane finds that the allegation that the unit was established unlawfully is substantiated.
Mkhwebane: "I conducted this investigation in terms of the Executive Members Ethics Code."
The complainant made a number of allegations:
- That the former Commissioner of SARS Ivan Pillay did not follow proper procedures appointing Yolisa Pikie and Johann van Loggerenberg.
- That Van Loggerenberg was paid cash deposits directly into his personal bank account from tax payers under investigation.
- That Jonas Makwakwa also received irregular cash deposits into his bank account.
- Allegations surrounding the establishment of an illegal intelligence unit during Pravin Gordhan's tenure as Commissioner.
The Public Protector will release a number of reports, including the results of her probe into Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.
Mkhwebane's investigation into Gordhan has been extremely controversial. Read our analysis of why this is so:
Mkhwebane's daring experiment
Busisiwe Mkhwebane is on a daring experiment that could backfire badly. She is testing the powers vested in the office of the Public Protector against those that are within the realm of the head of the executive.
On this week's POLOTIKI podcast, our reporters unpack the controversy around the Public Protector:
POLITICS PODCAST: Ramaphosa vs Public Protector, and the cost of the EFF's 'tantrum'
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