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Public Protector defends investigation, dismisses claims of Gordhan 'harassment'

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Public Protector defends investigation, dismisses claims of Gordhan 'harassment'

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Photo by Reuters
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

12th April 2019

By: News24Wire

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has defended her subpoena on Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, saying she was not harassing him and is conducting a legitimate investigation. 

Her office added she was disappointed the subpoena was almost immediately leaked to the media. 

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Fin24 reported on Thursday evening that Mkhwebane ordered Gordhan to submit an affidavit in relation to the establishment of the so-called South African Revenue Service (Sars) 'rogue unit'. 

Gordhan's spokesperson, Adrian Lackay, told Fin24 on Thursday afternoon that the subpoena amounted to an "abuse of office" by Mkhwebane.

[The] same set of allegations have been investigated repeatedly by various institutions – including the office of the Public Protector in 2014 – and no conclusive evidence could be found of any illegality by Sars or Minister Gordhan," said Lackay.

On Friday Mkhwebane's office said the probe was legitimate. 

"[The Public Protector] has, in the past, subpoenaed and interviewed numerous Ministers, Members of Executive Councils and Premiers as part of investigations. Not once did any of these public office-bearers take issue with this, label it 'harassment' or see it as a source of irritation," she said. 

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