Sarb: Mkhwebane failed to understand the issue

Sarb wants the court to overturn Busisiwe Mkhwebane's findings that the mandate of the institution be changed from protecting the currency value.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during a press briefing. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) says it doesn't understand why Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane continued to try and justify her remedial action for the mandate of the central bank to be amended when she herself acknowledged it was unlawful.

The bank wants the High Court in Pretoria to officially overturn Mkhwebane's findings that the mandate of the institution be changed from protecting the value of the currency.

The matter was heard on Tuesday.

Advocate David Unterhalter says Mkhwebane failed to understand the issue.

“This rather diffused notion of socio-economic benefit is the overarching objectives of government, it’s not something the Public Protector should be doing by the way of thinking how to allocate responsibilities.”


Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was also accused of displaying a lack of common sense by giving no warning of her prescribed remedial action.

Mkhwebane’s understanding of the Reserve Bank’s mandate came under severe criticism on Tuesday, with Unterhalter arguing that she failed to apply common sense.

“It’s also simply a lamentable absence of basic common sense. Which is that if you intend to do something as radical, you might think it’s sensible to at least tell the Reserve Bank.”

He said even if the central bank didn’t advise her on the consequences of her remedial action, they were still predictable.

“The consequences were entirely predictable. The rating agencies made it plain that this kind of action would require consideration of a further downgrade.”

The Reserve Bank said it’s regrettable that Mkhwebane failed to appreciate what the true role of the Reserve Bank is.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)