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SA Public Protector Mkhwebane withdraws ConCourt appeal

Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has withdrawn her application to the Constitutional Court to appeal the judgment against her by Judge Sulet Potterill.

Busisiwe Mkhebane
Busisiwe Mkhebane

Mkhwebane and the Office of the Public Protector filed their joint notice on Wednesday morning.

If Mkhwebane and her office still want to proceed with appealing the matter they will have to ask leave from Potterill, who has been severely criticised by Mkhwebane’s defenders.

Potterill earlier granted the application by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to suspend the implementation of remedial action against him ordered by Mkhwebane in relation to the SARS investigation unit.

The judge slammed the remedial action of the Public Protector as “vague, contradictory and/or nonsensical”.

Mkhwebane ordered the national commissioner of police to investigate “the criminal conduct of Gordhan and others” for violation of Section 209 of the Constitution and Section 3 of the National Strategic Intelligence Act. But the judge found that “both sections do not create criminal offences”.

She also rejected the arguments by the Public Protector and the EFF’s legal teams that the interdict should not be granted because it would impair the functioning of the office and came down to the interference by one arm of state in the affairs of another. This is because the interim interdict is not final and that these types of orders are granted daily.

Mkhwebane and the EFF’s opposition to the application was “baseless” and that they were “not serious” in attacking Gordhan’s arguments.

Mkhwebane and the EFF were also slapped with cost orders. — AFP