Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will find herself in the hot seat on Wednesday to provide reasons why she should not be removed from office.
DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen approached Parliament to have her removed, saying she’s incompetent.
This follows the judgment that the Public Protector grossly overreached her powers when she recommended that the Constitution be amended to alter the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank.
Mkhwebane was heavily criticised for the decision.
Mkhwebane “did not have regard thereto that her office requires her to be objective, honest and to deal with matters according to the law and that a higher standard is expected from her”, the judgment stated. “She failed to explain her actions adequately.”
This could possibly lay the foundation of a new application, seeking an order that Mkhwebane has abused her office.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) had sought such an order in the case, but the judges rejected it on a technicality. They said the court would not be averse to finding she had abused her office, if the correct procedure were followed.
The judges lashed out at the Public Protector, saying her remedial actions “were a product of a procedurally unfair process and are unlawful” and “the process was not impartial”.
A full bench of judges ordered Mkhwebane to pay 15% of the SARB’s costs in her personal capacity. The remaining 85% will be paid by her office.
The Public Protector’s office also has to pay ABSA’s costs on an attorney and client scale, including the costs of three counsel.
In addition the court found that the Public Protector’s remedial action with regards to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was unlawful and should be set aside.