Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says her current investigation into Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is only to investigate claims that he established the so-called South African Revenue Service (Sars) “rogue unit” in violation of the country’s intelligence prescripts.
Mkhwebane has confirmed that she has served a subpoena on Gordhan, but says she is disappointed it was leaked within hours of its release.
She has clarified that the investigation relates to allegations of improper conduct and a violation of the executive ethics code along with irregular and unlawful activities by the minister.
Mkhwebane maintains she will not conduct her investigation in the glare of the public to avoid jeopardising it.
The Public Protector says she is concerned that her subpoena was leaked with no regard for the investigating staff who are now compromised, making their jobs difficult.
She says her investigation is not related to criminal charges that were abandoned by the National Prosecuting Authority against Gordhan but focuses on maladministration during Gordhan’s tenure as Sars commissioner.
She says this is a fact-finding mission that can go either way, and takes exception to suggestions that she is harassing the minister.
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