ConCourt is the last resort for Busisiwe

25 July 2018 - 08:00 By Karyn Maughan
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane arrives to attend the State of the Nation address to parliament in February this year.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane arrives to attend the State of the Nation address to parliament in February this year.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

South Africa’s highest court will have to decide the last round of an increasingly bitter legal battle between public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) – and the stakes for Mkhwebane are very high.

SARB wants the Constitutional Court to find that Mkhwebane “abused her office” when she conducted her investigation into an apartheid-era SARB bailout given to Bankcorp, and later ordered that the constitutional mandate of the Central Bank be changed.

The Reserve Bank says the “secretive” way Mkhwebane conducted her Bankcorp investigation – which included undisclosed meetings with the Presidency and State Security Agency [SSA] – showed that she had an “ulterior purpose to undermine the Reserve Bank”.

According to SARB legal adviser Johannes Jurgens de Jager, records showed that “before she issued her final report, the public protector discussed the vulnerability of the Reserve Bank with the SSA and her intended remedial action to amend the Constitution to remove the Reserve Bank’s powers with the Presidency”.

X