Public Protector’s Report on Early Retirement an Attempt to Reheat a Long Cold Dish, says FUL

25 May 2019 

Freedom Under Law (FUL) is dismayed but not surprised to learn of the Public Protector’s findings in respect of Mr Ivan Pillay’s early retirement and Minister Pravin Gordhan’s authorisation of the retirement. The matters canvassed in the Public Protector’s report are the exact same matters as those which frame one of the most notorious episodes in the National Prosecuting Authority’s history – the decision to charge and then ultimately ignominiously withdraw charges against Gordhan, Pillay and former SARS Commissioner, Oupa Magashula.

This attempt to reheat a long cold dish and serve it up to the public as evidence of wrongdoing is on its own alarming. But that the Public Protector releases her report a mere two days after receiving responses from the implicated parties – failing to meaningfully engage those responses – makes a mockery of the most basic tenets of justice.

She does so in a week in which a court has found in respect of another of her investigations that: “the Public Protector did nothing to assure the public that she kept an open and enquiring mind and that she discovered, or at least attempted to discover the truth.”

With this her latest report, the Public Protector yet again makes no pretence of what she is about.   

FUL Concerned at Intimidation of Zondo Commission Staff and Witnesses

23 November 2018

Freedom Under Law (FUL)is concerned at the protests and utterances which occurred this week outside the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture. 

FUL recognises that protest, safeguarded by the right to free expression and association, is intrinsic to any constitutional democracy. However protest which threatens violence and harm must register as a threat. So too, protest designed to intimidate and undermine  a commission of inquiry established to address allegations of state capture and corruption and to intimidate witnesses appearing before the commission.

FUL notes in particular the attacks on the evidence leader of the Commission, Mr Paul Pretorius and on the Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan and his family. These attacks seem aimed at intimidating those undertaking their professional responsibilities in respect of the Commission and in deterring other prospective witnesses from appearing before the Commission.

FUL calls on those parties alleging that they have incriminating evidence relevant to state capture to make full disclosure to the Commission and not seek to erode its processes. It urges the Commission to use such powers as it has to compel those publicly maintaining they have such evidence to appear before it.