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Mkhwebane loses appeal on costs order in Absa-Bankorp matter

A full bench of the North Gauteng High Court found no reasonable prospect of another court finding differently.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has lost an application for leave to appeal against an order that she personally cover some of the Reserve Bank's legal costs in the Bankorp review case.

Last month a full bench in Pretoria set aside the controversial report and its remedial action which had ordered the Special Investigating Unit to recover more than R1 billion from Absa for an apartheid-era bail out.

The application was brought by the central bank, Absa, Treasury and the minister of finance.

The court ordered Mkhwebane to pay 15% of the Reserve Bank’s fees from her own pocket.

The full bench of the High Court rejected advocate Mkhwebane’s request to appeal the personal costs order, saying it has once more considered all the arguments and believes there’s no reasonable prospect of another court reaching a different conclusion.

The court found that Mkhwebane did not fully understand her Constitutional duty to be impartial and to perform her functions without fear, favour or prejudice. The bench imposed the personal costs order to express its displeasure with the manner in which she conducted herself.

Its estimated she’ll have to cough up about R900,000.

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