Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Listed Phumelela Gaming and Leisure’s legal advisers have recommended that the company should apply to the high court to set aside the public protector’s May 2019 report into allegations of maladministration and improper conduct in connection with the corporatisation of the SA thoroughbred horseracing industry.

Phumelela said in a statement that it believes public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane acted in a manner that is unconstitutional, contrary to the principle of legality and outside of her powers, took irrelevant considerations into account and ignored relevant considerations.

It claims that she abused her office by attempting to solicit a R10m payment to a complainant in circumstances where she should have been aware that the complainant was not entitled to such a payment.

The public protector is also said to have made numerous observations and findings regarding the transformation and control of the racing industry which are unrelated to the issues she investigated.

These observations and findings, Phumelela said, have caused it to suffer reputational harm. Phumelela will be approaching the high court for an urgent order postponing the public hearings convened by the public protector, in order to afford it an opportunity to test the evidence and to make submissions.

Racing continues at the Vaal on Tuesday, where race 3 will start with only six horses. Joe Soma’s stayer Tirzan looks the best bet on the card. He found Sunshine Silk three lengths too good for him in the recent Gold Bowl, finishing third, but this has proved to be a powerful line of form.

Sean Tarry’s Liege, fifth in the Gold Bowl, followed that with an easy win in Saturday’s grade 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup at Greyville. Tarry, who is enjoying a hot run and leads the season’s race for champion trainer by a narrow margin from Mike de Kock, could have three winners on the day.

Tarry’s Purple Diamond (race 6) is well handicapped in a contest with only eight rivals, while Duology’s good recent run after his maiden win showed that he has the ability to land the first prize in race 7.

Vi Va Pi Pa has not tasted success since her Ready To Run Cup win last December, but a steady drop in her merit rating and an apparent lack of strong opposition will make her most competitive in race 8.

Vaal Selections, Tuesday

Race 1: (3) Without Limits (8) Lapland (9) Spiritofthegroove (2) Miss Samurai

Race 2: (8) Rooi Tom (3) Dublin Quays (14) Winter Tour (4) Informative

Race 3: (7) Racing Man (6) Potala (11) Time Is Gold (1) Pidgeon Rock

Race 4: (4) Tirzan (1) Walter Smoothie (6) War Legend (3) Top Shot

Race 5: (4) Rouge Allure (1) Pool Party (2) Che Bella (11) Memphis Belle

Race 6: (6) Purple Diamond (7) Sugoi (3) Tarsus (5) Certifiable

Race 7: (7) Duology (11) Mutrib (1) Major Return (5) King’s Cup

Race 8: (5) Vi Va Pa Pa (12) Miss Khalifa (2) Samarra (1) Abelie

Race 9: (8) Endofmarch (15) Hot August (3) Perfact (5) Pink