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Typos seem to stalk Public Protector: Dates on CV don't add up

31 July 2017 - 06:32 By Katharine Child
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's first "typo" was not the one in her failed recommendation to change the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank.

She also made a typographical error on her curriculum vitae when she applied for the public protector's job. Her CV, which is publicly available on the Parliamentary Monitoring Group website, will leave many scratching their head because it states that she completed her BProc and LLB degrees two years after she finished school.

On her CV, Mkhwebane's matriculation date is listed as 1992, instead of 1989. She correctly records that she completed her legal studies at the end of 1994.

The University of Limpopo confirmed to The Times that it took Mkhwebane five years, from 1989 to the end of 1994, to complete the two degrees.

She was asked about the error during the parliamentary process of choosing public protector candidates.

Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, Werner Horn, asked Mkhwebane how she completed two degrees in two years, and says she claimed the CV mistake "was a typo”.

Her spokesperson Cleopatra Mosana contradicted this. She told The Times that Mkhwebane didn’t provide her own CV to parliament, the person who nominated her for the position did so.

The glaring error on her CV is sign of a lack of attention to detail and rigour - skills required in the position of public protector, said the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution’s spokesman Lawson Naidoo.

He added: “It's unprofessional and you would not expect that from someone applying for a job of such stature.”

This is not her first typo.

Mkhwebane recommended that parliament change the Constitution to ensure the Reserve Bank powers be widened to improving the economy, rather than focus on keeping the currency stable.

Her recommendation, which led to the rand weakening, was taken to court by the SARB, the Minister of Finance and Parliament. When she declined to defend it in court, she admitted in legal papers that her recommendation to change the Constitution had overstepped her powers.

However, Mosana told Radio 702 host, Eusebius McKaiser, that Mkhwebane didn't make a legal error.

Mosana said: “She didn’t get the law wrong. At the end of the day‚ why is the report still standing and being implementable if she got the law wrong?”

"What you are raising is not relevant to the issue that we are dealing with at core. What is the issue? If you make a mistake‚ you do a typo yourself when you’re typing it and say ‘oh this was a typo’‚” she said.


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