The acknowledgement today by Public Protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, is an indictment which brings into serious question her knowledge of this vital role or her ability to perform the role independently.
In the Public Protector’s Answering Affidavit to the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) judicial review of her CIEX report, where she ordered that the Constitution be amended to change the powers of the SARB, Mkhwebane has now done a sudden about turn – acknowledging that it was beyond her power to order such remedial action.
Mkhwebane has said that she will pay the costs – which she should rightly do – but these should be paid personally as it was her failure of judgement which led to this review. The Office of the Public Protector is already under-funded and it is shameful that money, which could instead be used to investigate injustices in South Africa, will instead be used to pay for court proceedings – which should never have occurred in the first place.
The DA has maintained from the start that Mkhwebane was the wrong candidate for the role of Public Protector – this entire debacle has only strengthened our concern.
There seem to be only one of two possible explanations for this travesty – either Mkhwebane’s understanding of the Constitution and the law is so inadequate that she could make such a blatantly flawed recommendation, or she consciously did so in order to further the interests of outside parties. While the first explanation is gravely concerning, the second far more sinister explanation is something which if true should concern us all.
The Leader of the DA, Mmusi Maimane will be meeting with the Public Protector in the next few weeks. The CIEX debacle will certainly feature prominently on the agenda for which we will seek answers from Mkhwebane at this meeting.
South Africa requires a Public Protector of sound mind and who exercises the powers vested in her by the Constitution to the benefit of the public, Mkhwebane seemingly is unable to fulfill this requirement.
Issued by DA