Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: SUPPLIED
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: SUPPLIED

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has not let her latest court defeat against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan deter her from demanding that President Cyril Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against him — or face accusations that he violated the constitution by failing to do so.

Mkhwebane is persisting with her opposition to Ramaphosa’s application to stay the implementation of her remedial action against Gordhan, in relation to his authorisation of early retirement for former SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Ivan Pillay.

Following a meeting between lawyers for Ramaphosa and Mkhwebane on Tuesday morning, it was agreed that the case, which was set for hearing later on Tuesday, will be heard on Thursday.

On Monday, the high court in Pretoria ruled that Ramaphosa could not be criticised for failing to take action against Gordhan over the Sars rogue unit findings made against him by Mkhwebane, while the minister was seeking a review of that report.

Mkhwebane insists that the president has failed to act on her remedial action in that report, despite providing her with the implementation plan she demanded. She argues that Gordhan should have sought an interdict staying her remedial action, and argues that Ramaphosa’s intervention amounts to him “taking sides” against her.

Mkhwebane’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, on Tuesday morning denied that advocate Dali Mpofu — who is representing the public protector in her battle with Gordhan over the Gordhan-Pillay report — was conflicted, given his leadership position in the EFF, a party that has repeatedly attacked Gordhan and his alleged influence over Ramaphosa.

“We are dealing with him in his professional capacity”, Segalwe said.