Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba has instructed counsel to institute review proceedings for the review and setting aside of the findings, remedial action and the entire report of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, titled “Alleged Failure to Recover misappropriated Funds”.
The basis for the review is that, the remedial action breaches the principle of legality and the findings of fact are not necessarily adequately connected to the evidence which was before the public protector.
According to the finance ministry’s statement, prior to taking the above decision, the minister engaged the Public Protector to gain a deeper understanding of the facts and evidence, which underpins some of the findings and conclusions against the Government.
This was necessary because the investigation preceded the minister’s tenure in office.
During the discussions with the public protector, which were cordial and insightful, it became apparent that, his (minister’s) concerns about the report can only be practically addressed through judicial review proceedings.
This was confirmed by the legal advice obtained by the minister that the review is the appropriate course of action in light of the binding judgments of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The ministry has indicated that the minister has not taken the decision to seek judicial review lightly.
According to the statement, the minister has taken the decision primarily to protect the constitutional mandate of the South African Reserve Bank, an important institution created by section 224(1) of the Constitution to “protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in the Republic”.
The minister believes that the proposed constitutional amendment is not necessary.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE