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Scathing court ruling against Mkhwebane 'could bolster' case for her removal

The High Court in Pretoria set aside Mkhwebane’s findings that President Cyril Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament about a Bosasa donation to his CR17 campaign.

Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: @PublicProtector/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Tuesday lashed out over the latest court ruling against the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and intended taking it up with the Constitutional Court.

The High Court in Pretoria set aside Mkhwebane’s findings that President Cyril Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament about a R500,000 Bosasa donation to his CR17 campaign.

In a scathing judgment on Tuesday, the court described the findings in the Bosasa report as “fatally flawed” and also concluded that Mkhwebane had no jurisdiction to probe the funding of Ramaphosa’s 2017 presidential campaign.

The red berets said the ruling was ridiculous and claimed it exposed the court as an institution complicit in the weakening of Parliament.

“The Gauteng North High Court ruling has also effectively rendered the oath of members of Parliament futile, uprooting the respect this important arm of the state has. The finding that Ramaphosa did not mislead Parliament is not only ridiculous, but it also exposes the court as an institution complicit in weakening Parliament,” said EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo.

WATCH: Court: Ramaphosa didn’t intentionally mislead Parliament on CR17 funding

While Mkhwebane is no stranger to public rebuke by the courts, it was argued that the latest judgment by the High Court against her bolstered the case for her removal.

Parliament is mulling over provisions in the law, which could see her removed as head of a Chapter Nine institution following the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) tabling of a motion calling for her sacking.

Mkhwebane used various defence strategies to justify why she should remain in office despite the several adverse court judgments against her, including that the decision to remove her is up to God.

This time around, the full bench of High Court judges emphasised that she needed to be scrupulous in using her powers in accordance with her constitutional mandate or face a loss of public trust.

This after the court found that she was irrational and reckless in her findings Ramaphosa in the Bosasa report. This included the devastating impact of conclusions such as her insistence that there was a prima-facie case of money laundering against the president.

In its statement, the DA said Mkhwebane’s incompetence let Ramaphosa off the hook and maintained that he still had questions to answer despite the ruling.