Equality Court dismisses Gordhan's application to remove SARS 'rogue unit' report from court papers

Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. (Yunus Mohamed/Photo24)
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. (Yunus Mohamed/Photo24)

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's attempt to strike the South African Revenue Services (SARS) "rogue unit" report from his Equality Court case against EFF leader Julius Malema has been dismissed.

In a statement, the EFF welcomed the court's dismissal of the strike-out application, which means the inspector-general of intelligence report remains part of the party's court papers.

The EFF attached the report as an annexure in responding to the hate speech charges that Gordhan laid against Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu.

READ| Gordhan vs Malema: Equality Court to hear of alleged scathing attacks

The charges followed a scathing attack launched on Gordhan outside the venue, where he was testifying before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture in November 2018.

At the time, Malema called Gordhan "corrupt", "a dog of white monopoly capital" and claimed he hated black people, News24 previously reported.

Malema also took aim his daughter, Anisha, over contracts he claimed were allegedly awarded by National Treasury and other government departments, seemingly as a result of her father's position in the government.

READ MORE: Gordhan fed up with 'lies' & 'racism', lays charges against Malema

"We welcome the opportunity given by this judgment for the IGI rogue unit report to be deliberated in the open public court," EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

"Both a Chapter 9 institution, in the form of the Public Protector and a Chapter 11 institution in the form of the inspector-general of intelligence have found that Pravin Gordhan ran an illegal intelligence unit within SARS.

"They determined that he must be criminally prosecuted. Today's judgment is a victory of accountability against an individual who feels [he is] above the law."

Gordhan's attorney, Tebogo Malatji, confirmed to News24 the strike-out application had been dismissed, adding the court had not furnished reasons for the dismissal.

ALSO READ: Malema claims Gordhan has offshore bank account with balance of over R660m in illicit proceeds

He said the strike-out application was made because the report was not relevant to the hate speech charges and it was not yet established if the report was authentic and if it was, if it had been declassified.

Malatji added the lawful use of the report was still subject to another case involving Gordhan and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

This case relates to the review application of Mkhwebane's report into the SARS "rogue unit" in which she instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to discipline Gordhan for his authorisation of the establishment of the unit while he was SARS commissioner.

She found the unit to have been illegal, it engaged in illegal activities, and Gordhan lied about a meeting with a member of the Gupta family.

The review application, which was instituted by Gordhan, has not yet been heard.

However, an urgent application by Gordhan saw the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria order a hold on Mkhwebane's remedial action.

Malatji said the Equality Court case would resume on October 24 and 25.

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