Mkhwebane vs Gordhan: 'Personal insults and blatant lies a smokescreen'

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Tebogo Letsie, Gallo)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Tebogo Letsie, Gallo)

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has responded to a series of harsh criticisms levelled against her in court papers filed by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday.

In a statement on Thursday, she said her office had not been served with the papers yet, but that she was "disappointed at the indignity of personal insults contained in the court application".

In her statement, Mkhwebane's office says she accepts that a review is part of the prescribed process available to aggrieved parties to challenge reports emanating from her office.

"However, Adv. Mkhwebane wishes to record her disappointment at how the court application is cloaked in the indignity of personal insults. She will only be commenting on the facts of the matter, as engaging in the personal insults is below the dignity of the high offices of responsibility which she and the minister occupy," the statement reads.

Confidence in veracity of findings

"It is our considered opinion that the emotive language and personal insults and blatant lies or innuendos are meant to divert attention from the real issues and the findings."

In Gordhan's application before the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, he asked for an urgent interdict to halt remedial action Mkhwebane recommended in her so-called SARS "rogue unit" report, and a main application that seeks to set aside the report as irrational and unlawful.

Gordhan argued the EFF was a major proponent of the lie that SARS established an illegal "rogue unit" and Mkhwebane seemed unable to question the party's motives for going after him.

READ Gordhan: Mkhwebane is helping the state capture project by targeting me

Gordhan said in an affidavit, filed as part of the urgent application in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, that the EFF's complaints against him were politically motivated.

He said Mkhwebane was incompetent or biased.

Mkhwebane said in her statement that she had confidence in the veracity of her findings and would be defending the application.

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