Mbete backs Reserve Bank in opposing Public Protector's Report

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had called on Parliament last month to change the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy.

FILE: National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.  Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is the most recent voice to back the South African Reserve Bank in opposing the Public Protector's report calling for a change to its mandate.

Mbete filed an affidavit at the Gauteng high court on Friday.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had called on Parliament last month to change the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy, which currently focuses on inflation targeting.

She also ordered the Special Investigating Unit to recover more than a billion rand from Absa for the apartheid era Bankorp bailout.

The Central Bank went to court shortly after, calling for Mkhwebane’s recommendation to be set aside, saying her remedial action is unlawful.

In her affidavit, Mbete had echoed the opinion of the SA Reserve Bank.

Mbete says Mkhwebane’s recommendations to change the Central Bank’s mandate is not only unconstitutional but also undemocratic.

The speaker further highlights the move is beyond the scope of Mkhwebane's mandate saying it encroaches on parliament's territory.

Mbete has requested that, together with the portfolio committee chairperson on justice and correctional services, they be allowed to act as applicants in the Reserve Bank’s case.

Parliament's Moloto Mothapo says, “As we’ve said; the remedial actions of the Public Protector are unconstitutional and violates Parliament’s powers granted to it by the Constitution, to independently determine internal arrangements and procedures.”

Mbete will most probably join the growing number of opponents on the court roll, including Absa and the finance minister, who last week filed their affidavits in support of the Reserve Bank.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)