President Cyril Ramaphosa sworn an affidavit to the Supreme Court in North Gauteng regarding a judicial request by the Minister of Public Affairs, Pravina Gordhan, to suspend corrective orders of the Public Defender of Busisiwe Mkhwebane & # 39;
Gordhan made a court offer in response to the controversial Mkhwebane report about, among others, the so-called "rogue unit". Gordhan also asked the court to prohibit her from executing orders until the judicial review of her report about him was completed.
In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the presidency stated that Ramaphosa expressed his support for the request to suspend Gordhan "to the extent that the relief demanded by the minister concerns the president."
"The President says in his statement that the review application of Minister Gordhan clearly shows that there is a legitimate dispute between Minister Gordhan and a defender on the legality of investigations and arrangements of the public protector and the remedies that she took in her report.
"In addition, Minister Gordhan also disagrees with the silent acceptance of a public defender that the president has the power" to take appropriate disciplinary action "against the minister, when the minister is not appointed to the cabinet as an employee subject to disciplinary proceedings but rather as a minister serving the president's pleasure" , says the statement.
Under these circumstances, Ramaphosa adds, "it would be premature if he tried to take" appropriate disciplinary action "against Minister Gordhan, while the main request for reconsideration is still ongoing, and disputes over the validity of the investigation and arrangements against Minister Gordhan and the extent of possible disciplinary action President's powers over the minister remain unresolved. "
Ramaphosa also claims that any "appropriate disciplinary action" he may take against Gordhan will have to be informed whether the investigation of the Mkhwebane settlement is legally valid and what disciplinary powers, if any, the president has over the members office.
These issues should be determined by the Supreme Court of North Gauteng, according to Ramaphosa.
The Mkhwebane report contains several findings against Gordhan. These included that SARS, under Gordhan's rule, established an intelligence unit in violation of South African intelligence prescriptions; that the said entity did not comply with the relevant procurement procedures for the supply of equipment; that he did not follow the appropriate recruitment processes; that he carried out unlawful activities; and that Gordhan himself violated the Code of Executive Ethics by misleading Parliament about the meeting in which one of Guptas was present.
A public guardian ordered Ramaphos to take "appropriate disciplinary action" within 30 days of the publication of the report.