'She couldn't even read her own judgment' - EFF slams judge's Mkhwebane finding
The EFF has lashed out at a court ruling on Thursday which saw President Cyril Ramaphosa winning a key legal battle against public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Judge Lettie Molopa-Sethosa found that Ramaphosa had complied with the remedial action prescribed in the public protector’s report against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.
The EFF joined the case in support of Mkhwebane, arguing that Ramaphosa had to take immediate action against Gordhan as the pubic protector recommended.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi rejected the court's judgment, saying the judge did not demonstrate exceptional circumstances as to why the remedial action should not be implemented.
“The judge could not even read her own judgment. It did not inspire confidence in [the] justice system,” he said.
Ndlozi said it was “one of the weakest judgments” from the court and was incoherent.
Molopa-Sethosa said Ramaphosa had complied with the remedial action of the public protector.
Mkhwebane recommended that Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against Gordhan for his role in granting early retirement to former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.
Ramaphosa then wrote to Mkhwebane saying he noted her report and said he wanted to wait for the completion of Gordhan’s review of the report before he took action.
Mkhwebane argued that Ramaphosa did not comply with the remedial action and was trying to "protect his friend", Gordhan.
In her judgment, Molopa-Sethosa said she was satisfied with Ramaphosa’s argument that he had implemented the remedial action because Mkhwebane did not state a time frame in her report for him to do so.
The judge rejected Mkhwebane’s argument that Ramaphosa "was protecting his friend".
“As president of all in the country, not a friend … he is obliged by the constitution to act rationally and reasonably,” the judge said.
Molopa-Sethosa found against the EFF.
“The EFF was being unreasonable in demanding that the president must take disciplinary action immediately without taking regard of the pending review application,” she ruled.
She ordered Mkhwebane and the EFF to pay the costs of the matter.
Ndlozi said the constitutional court would decide finally on the matter.
“We are going to the constitutional court … 11 [of the] highest legal minds in the country. We will get a positive outcome,” he said.