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Mkhwebane: ConCourt ruling to impact my ability to act without fear, favour

The apex court confirmed the High Court's order that Busisiwe Mkhwebane personally pay for 15% of the South African Reserve Bank's legal fees in the Bankorp lifeboat matter.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on 22 July 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

PRETORIA - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Monday warned that the Constitutional Court judgment would impact on her ability to act without fear, favour or prejudice.

The apex court confirmed the High Court's order that Mkhwebane personally pay for 15% of the South African Reserve Bank's legal fees in the Bankorp lifeboat matter.

* READ: Mkhwebane: I never lied under oath

Mkhwebane was slapped with the punitive costs order because it was found she lied under oath and failed to conduct herself in a manner befitting of her office.

The ConCourt judgement, as read out by Justice Sisi Khampepe, made numerous adverse findings against Mkhwebane.

“The Public Protector acted in bad faith and the Public Protector’s entire model of the investigation was flawed. She was not honest. The Public Protector’s explanation was unintelligible. The Public Protector omitted pertinent documents from the record. The Public Protector put forward a number of falsehoods.”

Mkhwebane said the findings have set a precedent.

“We then have a challenge for future Public Protectors, including myself when I am doing my work, and then there is that element of fear and prejudice on the incumbent.”

The advocate said she would study the judgment before commenting further.

Meanwhile, Mkhwebane has been criticised for saying the ruling would hinder her when doing her job.

Constitutional law expert Cathy Powell said the judgment was simply in line with the Constitution.

“A court order like this, which penalises misconduct or gross negligence validates and vindicates the Constitution and ensures that the Constitution is given effect to by all those who fall under it.”

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