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Mkhwebane to take stringent measures in processing of future reports

Busisiwe Mkhwebane told Parliament’s Justice Portfolio Committee on Thursday that she did not intend to tell the legislature what to do.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is taking measures to ensure future investigation reports pass legal scrutiny before they’re made public.

It’s one of the lessons she’s learnt from her widely criticised handling of the ABSA/Bankorp case.

After probing the apartheid-era bailout of Bankorp, Mkhwebane directed Parliament to initiate steps to change the Reserve Bank’s mandate.

But her remedial action was set aside by the North Gauteng High Court.

Mkhwebane told Parliament’s Justice Portfolio Committee on Thursday that she did not intend to tell the legislature what to do.

She explained that her remedial action was more of a recommendation than an instruction.

“The intention was to recommend that this needs to be looked into.”

Mkhwebane said the experience has taught her a lesson about how reports should be processed in future.

“It’s making sure that all the reports are checked by our legal team.”

Opposition Members of Parliament were critical of the Public Protector’s bungling of the report.

But Charlotte Pilane-Majake, the acting chairperson of the committee, issued a statement after the meeting to say Mkhwebane’s flawed handling of the report should not overshadow attempts to investigate the role of the Reserve Bank in addressing poverty.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)