The civil society organisation, Accountability Now, says if Parliament had taken its oversight and accountability roles seriously, what has been happening to the office of the Public Protector would have been avoided.
Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, on Friday, lost yet another high-profile case after the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria declared another report involving the South African Revenue Service (SARS), unlawful and invalid.
The report which she released in April, found that SARS had irregularly appointed a company to provide a R100 million IT services contract but the court set aside all findings and remedial action.
The Public Protector’s office has also been ordered to pay the legal costs that SARS incurred in the review of the report. This comes as Parliament’s section 194 inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office continues.
Accountability Now’s Advocate Paul Hoffman says massive expenditure on legal costs and fees to advocates would have been avoided and claims Mkhwebane has been protected by Parliament.
“Unfortunately, she was shielded and protected by Parliament simply doing nothing. We renewed the complaint, when the new Parliament came in after the last general election, with an equal lack of success. The question of holding Parliamentarians to account, getting them to do their job properly, would have helped to avoid the unwelcome news that has come out of the office of the Public Protector in the last few years,” comments Hoffman.
— Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane (@AdvBMkhwebane) November 10, 2022