Lawyers for public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday welcomed the unanimous judgment by the Constitutional Court, which dismissed direct appeals by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the public protector.
The EFF and the protector wanted to appeal against a Pretoria high court judgment last year which granted Gordhan an order temporarily suspending the remedial action contained in a report by the public protector.
The lawyers said that in its judgment, the highest court in the land clarified the question on whether interim interdicts against the public protector constituted an improper interference with her powers.
The lawyers said the court held that the test for interim interdicts against the public protector’s remedial action, pending judicial review, did not require a special test to be applied by the courts, as contended by the EFF.
The court also held that it does not agree with the contentions by the public protector that the granting of an interim interdict will interfere with her constitutional duties.
"The Constitutional Court judgment reaffirms the rights of persons to obtain interim relief, even against the public protector."
The lawyers said this was the case with Gordhan, who obtained an interim interdict in order to protect his right not to be subjected to, among others, undefined disciplinary action by President Cyril Ramaphosa, pending a judicial review of the findings and remedial actions of the public protector.