The Constitutional Court will hear an application on Tuesday morning for leave to appeal a High Court ruling in the matter involving the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
The High Court in Pretoria ordered that Mkhwebane pay 15% of the Reserve Bank’s legal costs from her own pocket, after the bank challenged her findings in the Absa Bankorp report in February this year.
The controversial report was set aside along with its remedial action which had ordered the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recover more than R1 billion from Absa for an apartheid-era bailout.
Mkhwebane then approached the highest court in the land to seek leave to appeal the judgment, which could see her pay out R900 000 in legal fees.
She believes that this is a threat to the office of the Public Protector which must be independent, impartial and be allowed to investigate cases without fear of prejudice.
Earlier this year, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane lost an application to appeal this High Court decision. Now the Constitutional Court has given her the right to argue against an estimated R900 000 legal fees she’s to pay from her own pocket, following her disastrous court battle with the Reserve Bank.
The report caused a stir throughout the country, with many questioning Mkhwenane’s interpretation of the law.