Public protector says costs order against her will set a precedent

22 July 2019 - 11:22 By TimesLIVE
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has reservations about her office being able to do its job without “fear, favour or prejudice” after the Constitutional Court upheld a personal costs order against her on Monday.

The judgment holds her personally liable to pay 15% of the legal fees incurred by the  Reserve Bank in the Bankorp matter.

“We have the utmost respect for the judiciary as one of the pillars on which our constitutional democracy rests,” tweeted Mkhwebane's office after the ruling.

However, the tweet warned that the ruling would set a precedent.

“This will set a precedent for all other public protectors. It is not clear how we will be able to do our work without fear, favour or prejudice going forward.

“Although it is the majority judgment which matters, we take solace in the fact that there were dissenting views among the judges. This tells us that there were some among the esteemed Constitutional Court judges who saw things from our perspective.”

The tweet ended with an undertaking to “study the judgment”.