JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane says that she stands by her report on the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) and doesn't believe she acted in bad faith.
On Monday morning Mkhwebane endured a scathing assessment of her report on Sarb at the Constitutional Court, which found that she had lied and used false documents to advance her cause.
Mkhwebane had appealed the high court order that she should, in her personal capacity, pay 15% of the costs of the Sarb on an attorney and client scale, including the cost of three counsel.
The court had reviewed and set aside her June 2017 report in which she said that government had improperly failed to implement the CIEX report which dealt with alleged stolen state funds and should recover R3.2 billion from Bankorp Limited/Absa.
Delivering judgment, Justice Sisi Khampepe said the ConCourt held that there was no sound basis to justify the interference with the high court's discretion to award personal costs against her.
"The Constitutional Court held that personal costs orders against public officials, like the Public Protector, whose bad faith conduct falls short of what is required of them, constitute essential, constitutionally-infused mechanism to ensure that they act in good faith and in accordance with the law and the Constitution," Khampepe said.
"The Constitutional Court held that the need to hold government to the duty of the proper court process is sourced in the Constitution itself, and that personal costs orders are not granted against public officials who conduct themselves appropriately. They are granted when public officials fall egregiously short of what is required of them."
Mkhwebane, reacting to the ConCourt ruling, said she would study the judgment and provide a comprehensive response.
"I will study the judgment and indeed, if his judgment is convincing or there are elements which then prove to them that are acted in bad faith -- and I know I acted in good faith and it's very clear from all my documentation that this investigation was conducted purely based on that -- so I will study the judgment and I will respond comprehensively," she said.
African News Agency (ANA)