Expert: ConCourt ruling legitimises reviews into PP's fitness to hold office

The apex court ruled that there was no evidence to support Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings that there was laundering during the CR17 campaign or that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his son personally benefited from the campaign.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on 25 March 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

DURBAN - A legal expert said the Constitutional Court’s ruling in the CR17 matter legitimised parliamentary proceedings to review Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

The Apex court ruled that there was no evidence to support Mkhwebane’s findings there was laundering during the campaign or that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his son personally benefited from the campaign.

In yet another blow to Mkhwebane, the Constitutional Court on Thursday reaffirmed a Pretoria High Court ruling that the Public Protector acted outside her mandate when she investigated the campaign.

Justice Chris Jafta stated that the Constitution and the Public Protector Act did not empower Mkhwebane to probe the internal issues of political parties.

Legal expert Ulrich Roux said Mkhwebane’s conduct had harmed the credibility of her office.

"I think advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has undone all the good work of advocate Thuli Madonsela. She has been on the receiving end of numerous judgments where not only the High Court but the Constitutional court have found that she has made material errors in law, she has been dishonest, and she has factually misplaced the law."

However, Thursday’s apex court judgement was not entirely in Ramaphosa’s favour.

He’s been ordered to pay for the legal costs of the amaBhungane centre for investigative journalism after it was forced to incur expenses while seeking information from him.

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