News and Politics

Tito calls Public Protector’s acts inappropriate

Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni has filed papers seeking the reviewing and setting aside of Public Protector Busiswe Mkhwebane’s findings and remedial action against National Treasury’s Director-General Dondo Mogajane.

According to a statement by Treasury, the application before the North Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria follows the conclusion by the Public Protector (PP) that Mogajane was “dishonest” and that he made himself guilty of “gross negligence” by failing to disclose that he has a criminal conviction when he applied for the post of DG in 2017.

The conviction relates to an admission of guilt fine that Mogajane paid in relation to a traffic infraction in 2011.

Mboweni challenges the PP’s findings and remedial action on two fronts, calling the findings “arbitrary and irrational”. The minister further argues that the PP’s remedial action is inappropriate in that it infringes the doctrine of separation of powers.

The minister is, therefore, asking the court to declare the PP’s findings and remedial action to be “irrational, alternatively unreasonable”, and that it be set aside.

Last year, Mkhwebane released a report following an investigation into Mogajane’s application for the top position at Treasury in 2017. She found that he failed to disclose a criminal record – a speeding fine which he incurred in 2011, Fin24 reported.

She recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa take appropriate action against Mogajane in terms of the Public Service Act. According to the act, the president is responsible for disciplinary steps and the implementation of relevant sanctions against a head of department. The president had initiated the remedial action.

At a briefing ahead of the National Budget, Mboweni told journalists he had taken the matter on review.