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Mkhwebane slates judges over court rulings, says they should be objective

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, an unflinching Busisiwe Mkhwebane was ready to fight her detractors and defied calls for her to step down from office.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.  Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has lashed out at the country’s judges who have delivered damning rulings against her, saying they should be objective and play the ball and not the man.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, an unflinching Mkhwebane was ready to fight her detractors and defied calls for her to step down from office.

Mkhwebane: Legal battle with Ramaphosa could lead to constitutional crisis

Parliament has no legal basis to remove PP from office - Mkhwebane

Mkhwebane: There’s a smear campaign against me

The courts had set aside several reports by the Public Protector, with judges questioning her credibility, competence and understanding of the law in their rulings.

Vague, contradictory, nonsensical, irrational, unconstitutional. That was but a few ways several judges had described some of Mkhwebane’s reports.

Some judges and justices had gone further to rule that she had acted in bad faith, was biased, dishonest, put together several falsehoods, did not understand her constitutional duties, and had lied under oath.

Mkhwebane was not impressed by this.

“We cannot issue judgments to deal with individuals, let’s play the ball and not the person, what precedents are you setting? Be objective,” she said.

WATCH: ‘I did not act in bad faith’ - Mkhwebane

In an unprecedented move, Mkhwebane also accused the justices at the Constitutional Court of prejudicing her after they set aside her report in the Absa/Bankorp lifeboat matter.

“How do you say I acted in bad faith when I gave all the notes to you? How do you say I was dishonest? They never wanted to hear my side of the story, they just took the story of the Reserve Bank,” Mkhwebane said.

Responding to the apex court’s finding that she must personally pay 15% of the Reserve Bank’s legal fees, the Public Protector said perhaps it was time that judges also be made to pay from their pockets when their rulings were overturned.

“It will be interpreting also, maybe if we appeal, we can cite the judges and ask for personal cost orders,” she said.

Mkhwebane said she didn’t understand why she was being treated differently from judges, explaining she deserved the immunity they enjoyed when their judgments were set aside.

FULL INTERVIEW: The Public Protector

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