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Mkhwebane’s office to approach SCA to challenge High Court ruling

The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday dismissed advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s application for leave to appeal the earlier ruling.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on 4 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

PRETORIA – The Public Protector’s office says it will approach the Supreme Court of Appeal directly to challenge the High Court’s ruling that she personally cover some of the Reserve Bank’s legal fees in the Bankorp review case.

The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday dismissed advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s application for leave to appeal the earlier ruling.

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 a billion rand 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 Public Protector’s Oupa Segalwe says Mkhwebane is disappointed with the judgment.

“She does not think this is the end of the road and accordingly, she plans to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal. She strongly feels that court could arrive at a different conclusion.”

He says the personal costs order has a chilling effect on the office.

“The last thing you want is for the Public Protector to feel a bit intimidated or constrained whenever they have to make a difficult decision.”

It’s estimated Mkhwebane would have to fork out about R900,000 from her own pocket.

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