POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Ramaphosa vs Mkhwebane is match of the week
High court to hear president’s urgent application on public protector's report
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s legal battle with public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane gets under way this week.
The high court in Pretoria will on Tuesday hear Ramaphosa’s urgent application to have implementation of remedial action in Mkhwebane’s report on Bosasa suspended pending a judicial review.
Mkhwebane has found Ramaphosa deliberately misled parliament when he was asked about a R500,000 donation he received from Gavin Watson, CEO of the corruption-accused Bosasa.
She also found the president was in breach the executive ethics code by failing to disclose the donations. She found there was merit to the suspicions of money laundering over the payment from Bosasa and referred this to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further investigation.
Ramaphosa is asking the court to have the report reviewed and set aside.
This comes as public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan awaits judgment in his urgent application to have implementation of Mkhwebane’s remedial action against him in her report on the SA Revenue Service’s so-called rogue unit interdicted.
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High court judge Sulet Potterill reserved judgment in the matter last week, saying she would look at handing down judgment by Monday.
Mkhwebane is opposing Gordhan’s application to suspend implementation of the remedial action. Her advocate Thabani Masuku told the court that ordinarily she would not oppose such an application, but was forced to do so because Gordhan had insulted her in his affidavit to the court.
Gordhan is taking Mkhwebane’s report, in which she found that he had violated the constitution when he established the intelligence unit at Sars, on judicial review. Mkhwebane found he had deliberately misled parliament about meeting the controversial Gupta family.
The ANC is expected to brief the media on the outcomes of its national executive committee meeting in Pretoria at the weekend. The meeting was expected to be heated with the issue of national executive committee member and former minister Derek Hanekom’s meeting the EFF over the removal of former president Jacob Zuma to be discussed.
This came after EFF leader Julius Malema told supporters outside the high court in Pretoria last week that Hanekom had “plotted” with the red berets to bring down Zuma.
Hanekom confirmed he had met EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee but said there was nothing wrong with two MPs talking. This sparked ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s statement calling Hanekom a charlatan for working with the EFF and accusing him of being a wedge driver in the party.
Statistics SA is expected to release two reports this week.
On Monday, statistician-general Risenga Maluleke will release the 2019 mid-year population estimates report. The report provides estimates on the population of SA and includes current indicators of fertility, mortality and migration among others.
On Tuesday, StatsSA will release the results of the quarterly labour force survey for the second quarter of 2019.
In May, Maluleke announced that unemployment in SA surged to 27.6% in the first quarter, with the economy bleeding 237,000 jobs during the period. This was an increase of 0.5 percentage points, compared to the 27.1% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018.