Oupa Magashula, the former head of the SA Revenue Service, has announced he too will take the Public Protector’s findings about the pension payout to his former deputy Ivan Pillay on review, saying she appears to have acted with “indecent haste”.
This means that three of the people mentioned in the report – former SARS deputy commissioner Pillay, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, and Magashula – have said they will legally challenge Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings.
At a media briefing on Friday, Mkhwebane announced she had found that Gordhan, who was minister of finance in 2010, should not have approved the early retirement with full benefits and subsequent re-employment of Pillay.
Magashula was the head of SARS at the time. He resigned in 2013.
The Public Protector said President Cyril Ramaphosa must take appropriate disciplinary action against Gordhan for violating the Constitution, and must submit an implementation plan for the remedial action within 30 days.
Gordhan, Pillay and Magashula all contend the matter was legal.
In a statement on Saturday morning Magashula’s lawyers said their client was subpoenad to give evidence on Pillay’s retirement in late March 2019, and submitted additional answers on May 21.
Mkhwebane made her findings on Friday May 24.
“The indecent haste with which the Public Protector then made public her findings on the 24th of May 2019 is in our client’s view an indication of the fact that little and/or no regard was had to the evidence and supplementary submissions,” said Magashule’s legal team.
“Her findings in our view arise from the erroneous application of the facts, and an erroneous understanding of the law.”
Gordhan has already said he intends to immediately institute review proceedings, saying the findings are “totally wrong both in fact and in law”. Lawyers for Pillay, meanwhile, said he also intends to seek recourse in the courts.