Johannesburg - The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) has welcomed Monday's judgement by the Constitutional Court on the Public Protector versus the SA Reserve Bank matter, saying that the judgment brings finality to the matter.
On Monday, the majority of the Constitutional Court dismissed Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's application to set aside a judgment by the Gauteng North High Court passed last year, which ordered that she pay 15 percent of the costs in that case from her own pocket.
This means that Mkhwebane is now liable to cough up R900 000 of her own money towards footing the legal bill of SARB counsel.
The ConCourt found that Mkhwebane had acted in bad faith, that the entire model of the investigation was flawed and she was not honest, ordering her to pay the punitive personal costs originally ordered by the High Court.
The High Court judgment had further set aside the remedial action contained in her 2017 Absa/Bankorp report‚ which found that Absa should repay R1.1 billion to the South African Reserve Bank.
Mkhwebane's remedial actions also directed Parliament to amend the Constitution in order to change the mandate of the Reserve Bank.
Mvuzo Notyesi, the president of the Law Society, said that the remarks made in the judgement brings into question the integrity of the Public Protector's office.
Notyesi called on all relevant institutions to urgently work together to restore the dignity of the Public Protector's office in order to enable it to fulfill its mandate without fear or prejudice.
"We call on all institutions and the public to respect the administration of justice and to let the process take its natural course," Notyesi said.
"The matter should be resolved immediately by those charged with resolving it as it is in the best interest of the public."
Advocacy group Accountability Now said that if Mkhwebane does not resign, she could be impeached, face disciplinary action from the Legal Practice Council, or face perjury charges.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance has already approached Parliament wanting to expedite removal proceedings against Mkhwebane following the punitive costs order granted against her by the Constitutional Court.
African News Agency (ANA)