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Concourt to hear Mkhwebane’s personal costs order challenge

In February, the High Court in Pretoria ordered Mkhwebane to pay 15% of the Reserve Bank's legal costs from her own pocket after the bank challenged her findings in the Absa/Bankorp report.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has granted Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane direct access to challenge a personal costs order against her.

In February, the High Court in Pretoria ordered Mkhwebane to pay 15% of the Reserve Bank's legal costs from her own pocket after the bank challenged her findings in the Absa/Bankorp report.

The controversial report was set aside along with its remedial action which had ordered the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recover more than R1 billion from Absa for an apartheid-era bailout.

Mkhwebane's office has welcomed the Constitutional Court's decision to grant her leave to appeal the personal costs award.

She believes that a personal costs order is a threat to the ideal of a Public Protector that must meet the standards of independence, impartiality and the exercise of powers and functions without fear, favour or prejudice.

Earlier this year, Mkhwebane had lost an application for leave to appeal in the High Court based on the belief that there's no reasonable prospect of another court reaching a different conclusion.

However, the highest court in the land will hear her application at the end of November.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)