PUBLIC PROTECTOR Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane is scathing on a thin ice- and interestingly no one's favourite.
Yesterday the ConCourt ruled she had been dishonest and that her conduct “fell short of the high standards required of her office”.
The case concerned Mkhwebane’s first report as Public Protector, in which she directed the Special Investigating Unit to seek to recover R1.125 billion from Absa because of a series of bailouts that the reserve bank gave to Bankorp (later bought by Absa) in the 1980s. In her remedial action, she also directed that the Constitution be amended to broaden the mandate of the Reserve Bank and even set out what the amendment should say — in a clear breach of the separation of powers.
“The release of the final report caused severe harm to the South African economy. This included a significant depreciation of the Rand and a sell-off by non-resident investors of R1.3 billion worth of South African government bonds,” said the Constitutional Court led by Justices Sisi Khampepe and Leona Theron.
As a result, in addition to a personal costs order, a punitive costs order was warranted and Mkhwebane must now pay 15% of the costs of the high court litigation- which amounts to R1m.
“The High Court found that the Public Protector acted in bad faith. This court has no reason to interfere with this finding,” continued the ConCourt.
In laymen’s terms she lied, she’s unfit to lead the office charged with responsibility to protect one of the highest Chapter 9 Institutions in the country.
By law Apex is the highest Court in the country thus she cannot appeal.
“That’s perjury and should resign with immediate effect” says COPE.
DA’s parliamentary chief whip John Steenhuisen said public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane cannot recover from the damning judgment and must therefore vacate office.
Steehuisen said every report that her office will release will be “tainted” by this judgment.
“I don’t think she’ll come back from this, because I think she undermined, first of all, the integrity and the image of that office,” he said.
“So whatever report that comes out is going to be tainted by this. It has completely destroyed the confidence in the office of the public protector to deliver findings that are lawful, that are constitutional.”
Both IFP and UDM said the onus was now with parliament to determine whether Mkhwebane stays or goes.
The judgment is a major boost for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is litigating against Mkhwebane in two separate cases and has also accused her of acting in bad faith – an allegation to which she took great deal of offence.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa also announced that he would be turning urgently to the courts after Mkhwebane found against him in her Bosasa report.
The question is- is Mkhwebane a fully-fledged advocate, following concerns that her name isn’t on the roll of advocates kept by the department of justice and updated monthly?
What is the role of her advisors?
Its raining cats and dogs for the Mpumalanga born who is embroiled in both political and legal wrangles.
Does she stay or resign- but what implications would it have on the Judicial system in SA?
Image (Dug her own grave and now facing a tsunami- Public Protector Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, its time to ponder what went all wrong)?