Mkhwebane gets cold feet on Gordhan application

Busisiwe Mkhwebane at the High Court in Johannesburg. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla
Busisiwe Mkhwebane at the High Court in Johannesburg. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla
Felix Dlangamandla

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has withdrawn her appeal of a scathing high court judgment against her.

The Public Protector filed the notice withdrawing her application to the Constitutional Court on Thursday morning, but wasn’t clear on her reasons for doing so.

She was appealing a judgment against her by High Court Judge Sulet Potterill, who lambasted the remedial action that Mkhwebane suggested be meted out to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan as “vague” and “nonsensical”.

Potterill last month granted an application by Gordhan to suspend the implementation of remedial action ordered by Mkhwebane in relation to an investigation unit at the South African Revenue Service.

Mkhwebane found that Gordhan unlawfully established a high-risk unit aimed at clamping down on various syndicates who were infiltrating the revenue service.

She also said Gordhan had broken the rules in a matter in which a senior staff member was reinstated after being awarded early retirement.

“Be pleased to take notice that the first and second applicants hereby withdraw their application for leave of appeal directly to this honourable court against the whole of the order and judgment granted by Her Ladyship, Potterill J, of the Gauteng division of the High Court on 29 July 2019,” the court papers read.

Last month, Potterill granted an interdict to Gordhan to stop the enforcement of the remedial action stipulated in her report. He said if it was allowed to go ahead it would cause him “irreparable harm”.

The Economic Freedom Fighters accused Poterill of racial bias in this matter and threatened to take the matter to Constitutional court.


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