POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Gordhan-Mkhwebane battle set to dominate
Lawyers to provide details of plans to take report on judicial review
The battle between public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is set to continue to dominate the headlines this week.
Gordhan’s lawyers are due to provide details this week of plans to take the public protector’s report on the so-called SA Revenue Service (Sars) “rogue unit” on judicial review.
On Friday, 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 Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against Gordhan within 30 days.
This is Mkhwebane’s second finding against Gordhan. In May she released a controversial report directing Ramaphosa to “take appropriate disciplinary action” against Gordhan, finding that his approval of former Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement package amounted to “improper conduct” and violated the constitution.
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.
Meanwhile the National Assembly is scheduled to hold 25 budget vote debates this week.
The budget vote debates of state entities, including parliament and the presidency, will culminate in parliament’s consideration of the Appropriation Bill.
The Appropriation Bill is part of the National Budget, which finance minister Tito Mboweni presented to parliament in February. The bill allocates state funds to specific state entities.
Human settlements, water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu will on Tuesday brief the media on human settlements priorities for the next five years. The media briefing will precede the human settlements budget vote speech scheduled for the same day.
On Wednesday the joint meeting of the standing committee on appropriations and the select committee on appropriations will be briefed by the financial and fiscal commission on the 2019 Appropriation Bill.
The select committee on justice will be briefed by the parliamentary legal adviser on the procedure to follow in reviewing the president’s decision to remove Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi from their positions in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The NPA will also brief the committee on the same issue.
The hearings of the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture will resume on Monday.
The commission will hear the testimony of former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane.
Ignored the rules
Koloane was accused at the commission on Wednesday of having ignored rules and regulations regarding the use of the military base, by allowing the Gupta family to land a privately chartered airplane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013.
Koloane’s involvement in the Waterkloof saga is among the findings of an investigating team of security cluster officials who were put in charge of probing the controversial landing of about 80 guests the Guptas flew in to attend a family wedding at Sun City.
The incident sparked outrage across the country and has been credited with bringing to greater public attention the alleged influence of the family on the administration of former president Jacob Zuma.
The investigating team exonerated Zuma, despite an alleged reference to him by Koloane in recordings at the time of landing. This led to speculation that Koloane was the “fall guy” for the incident.