Pravin Gordhan. Picture: REUTERS
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: REUTERS

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan will take the public protector’s report on the so-called Sars rogue unit on judicial review.

Gordhan has asked his legal team to consider the report and prepare an urgent review.

On Friday, Busisiwe Mkhwebane released reports finding that Gordhan had violated the constitution by establishing the unit. She also found that he had misled the National Assembly about his meeting the Gupta family.

Mkhwebane directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against Gordhan. 

This is Mkhwebane’s second finding against Gordhan. In May, she found that he had violated the constitution when he approved the early pension payout of former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay. Gordhan is also taking that report on judicial review.

On Friday, Gordhan said neither he nor his legal team had received a formal notice, correspondence or a report from the public protector about her findings or remedial action, prior to it being announced.

“While respecting the office of the public protector — and co-operating with its investigations — minister Gordhan, like many others, has recorded his serious misgivings about the incumbent, her conduct and her partiality,” Gordhan’s lawyer Tebogo Malatji said.

“From today’s announcement, with respect to minister Gordhan and his tenure as the former commissioner for Sars, it is apparent that the public protector continues to get the facts wrong, get the law wrong, and is demonstrably biased.”

He said the constitution envisaged that the public protector be independent, impartial, dignified and effective; however, to date, in this matter, she had failed in all four respects.

“We wish to thank the public protector for completing her process. It is now possible for the public protector’s investigation, the report and the proposed remedial action to be scrutinised by the courts,” Malatji said, adding that details of the envisaged legal action will be announced next week.