Former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) head Robert McBride and other senior officials say Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report on the police watchdog should be overturned on at least 18 grounds, according to Business Day.
The report concerns allegations of maladministration in IPID and against McBride himself.
McBride and seven other senior officials have applied for the report to be overturned and for an interim interdict against the remedial action against them, including disciplinary action.
According to Business Day, some have accused Mkhwebane of ignoring critical evidence IPID officials had given.
Speaking to News24 earlier, McBride stated that Mkhwebane failed to take into consideration that the majority of the report dealt with a complaint which was previously investigated by the public service commission and found to be unsubstantiated.
McBride accused Mkhwebane of eroding IPID's independence with the findings of the report. He said the report could disrupt investigations because it implicated IPID executives.
In a statement, McBride also said the timing of the release of the report was "suspicious in that the release is on the eve of the widely anticipated testimony of senior IPID investigators at the Zondo commission into state capture at which evidence started today (Wednesday)".
"It is clear that the intention is to disrupt the functioning of IPID," he said.
McBride has also been nominated for the position of Deputy Public Protector.
According to the court papers filed at the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, the applicants allege that "the Public Protector failed to comply with her constitutional obligations in terms of… the Constitution."
The applicants threaten another costs order against Mkhwebane herself and the Office of the Public Protector, among others.
They say the report "is a product of bias… and ulterior motive" because of the involvement of a previous employee who worked with one of the complainants in the matter.
However, they added that the Public Protector said the accusations of bias were unsubstantiated and a "means on the part of the IPID to dictate the composition of the investigation team".
They also said certain parts of the report were "irrational", "fails to disclose the evidence upon which it relies", and "the findings contain incorrect legal interpretations".
In releasing the report, Mkhwebane noted that McBride said he would take the report on review, saying he used the "tired defence mechanism of those who don't want to be held to account".
- Compiled by Azarrah Karrim