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ConCourt to rule on Mkhwebane's liability in Bankorp bailout matter

The High Court ordered Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to personally pick up part of the reserve bank’s legal fees because there was a reasonable apprehension that she was biased in her investigation.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane at the launch of the Cheryl Zondi foundation. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

PRETORIA - The Constitutional Court will on Monday rule on whether the Public Protector is personally liable for some of South African Reserve Bank’s legal costs in the Bankorp lifeboat matter.

Last year, the High Court reviewed and set aside Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report and ordered she pick up 15% of the applicant’s legal fees.

Mkhwebane’s 2017 report into the apartheid-era Bankorp bail-out ordered Absa to pay back more than a billion rand to the reserve bank.

The High Court ordered Mkhwebane to personally pick up part of the reserve bank’s legal fees because there was a reasonable apprehension that she was biased in her investigation.

The court further found that Mkhwebane did not fully understand her constitutional duty to be impartial and to perform her functions without fear, favour or prejudice.

The advocate had failed to make full disclosure in various aspects of the investigation which led to the report.

Both the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected Mkhwebane's application for leave to appeal the findings and costs order.

The Public Protector has now turned to the apex court where she has argued that the High Court misdirected itself and she should be indemnified from costs in her personal capacity.

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