'Twitter victories don't count in court': Redi Tlhabi questions Mkhwebane's 'rogue unit' judgment objection

09 December 2020 - 10:50
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
Redi Tlhabi criticised public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for her selective objection to the high court  judgment against her.
Image: Redi Tlhabi Redi Tlhabi criticised public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for her selective objection to the high court judgment against her.

Veteran radio personality and author Redi Tlhabi has questioned public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's criticism of the judgment passed by the high court in Pretoria this week on her report into an investigation unit at the SA Revenue Service (Sars).

Mkhwebane took to Twitter this week to claim there was a concerted effort to make her seem useless after the court decided to set aside her 2019 report into the controversial Sars “rogue unit”.

TimesLIVE reported that Mkhwebane's report on her investigation into the establishment of the “rogue unit” found the setting up of the unit, approved by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, violated the constitution.

In its judgment on Monday, the full bench of the high court said the public protector's decision to entertain the complaints upon which she reported was reviewed, declared unlawful and set aside.

Taking to Twitter, Mkhwebane said there was evidence supporting her findings, despite the court's ruling against it.

“Dali Mpofu once said whoever is litigating against [the public protector] need not prepare a solid case but must just show up and win. It is a concerted effort to render PPSA useless just to deal with me. Oksalayo [either way] there is evidence supporting our findings. History has no blanks,” said Mkhwebane.

Tlhabi criticised Mkhwebane for her objection to the judgment against her.

She said the judgment motivates why a particular finding was reached and that “Twitter victories” don't count in court.

“For example, the primary finding appears in paragraph 296 where the court stated: 'The PP report fails at every point. We are satisfied the report is the product of a wholly irrational process, bereft of any sound legal or factual basis.' Is this the part you say is problematic?" she asked in a follow-up tweet.

Thlabi also slammed Mkhwebane for using the word “oksalayo”, saying it was “not the response of adults”.

Tlhabi took a subtle jab at Mkhwebane, predicting she would soon claim there was a conspiracy against her.

“She collects these scathing judgments as fast as I collect matching running gear. Not only about errors in law, but her conduct,” said Tlhabi.

While Mkhwebane has not yet responded to Tlhabi's comments, her comments drew mixed reactions from users.

Some agreed with Tlhabi's comments, while others criticised her and asked when she had become a lawyer.