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ConCourt dismisses public protector's appeal against setting aside of report on early retirement of Sars' Ivan Pillay

The Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane against a judgment of the high court which set aside one of her reports, related to the approval of the early retirement of Sars official Ivan Pillay. File photo.
The Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane against a judgment of the high court which set aside one of her reports, related to the approval of the early retirement of Sars official Ivan Pillay. File photo.
Image: JAMES OATWAY

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday dismissed an application by the public protector for leave to appeal against a high court judgment which set aside her report on the early retirement of SA Revenue Service (Sars) official Ivan Pillay.

On May 24 2019 the public protector released a “report on an investigation into allegations of maladministration and impropriety in the approval of Mr Ivan Pillay’s early retirement with full pension benefits and subsequent retention by the Sars”.

The public protector had investigated a complaint that then finance minister Pravin Gordhan, on the recommendation of George Magashula, the then commissioner for Sars, had in 2010 approved the early retirement and re-employment of Pillay on a fixed-term contract as deputy commissioner with full pension benefits as though he had retired at a statutory age.

In her report, public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Gordhan irregularly approved the early retirement of Pillay with full retirement benefits. 

Gordhan, Magashula and Pillay took the report on review to the Pretoria high court.

In December 2020, the high court declared the report unlawful and invalid and set it aside.

In April last year, the high court refused the public protector leave to appeal against the judgment.

In its order on Wednesday, the Constitutional Court said it had considered the  application for leave to appeal.

“It has concluded that the application should be dismissed as it bears no reasonable prospects of success,” the court said in its order.

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