SACP welcomes Constitutional Court personal cost order judgment against the incumbent Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane
22 July 2019
The South African Communist Party welcomes the Constitutional Court judgement delivered on Monday, 22 July 2019, effectively impugning the untenable conduct of Mkhwebane, and upholding the personal cost order against her by the High Court of South Africa. The SACP reiterates its call to Parliament to discharge its constitutional responsibilities, initiate an inquiry into her fitness to hold office, on the basis of the damning court findings against her, and hold her to account for her untenable actions as detailed in the numerous court findings.
Related to the call, the SACP agrees with the evaluation by the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution that it is inappropriate for a person accountable to Parliament to threaten the legislative organ of our state for holding them responsible for their actions. The Council made the statement after media reports surfaced alleging that Mkhwebane had in a letter threatened legal action if the process to hold an inquiry into her fitness to hold office continues. The SACP views this in a serious light as an overreach, a violation of our constitutional doctrine of separation of powers.
In its judgement on the matter that was brought before it, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Mkhwebane’s entire model of investigation was flawed and that she was not HONEST about her engagements during the investigation. In addition, the Constitutional Court found that she failed to engage with the parties directly affected by her new remedial action before she published her final report. South Africa cannot afford to have an individual who has been found to be dishonest by the apex court of the land still continuing to function in that capacity.
The SACP further welcomes the finding by the Constitutional Court “that the Public Protector’s explanation for why she discussed the vulnerability of the Reserve Bank with the State Security Agency was unintelligible”. The SACP seriously takes note of the finding by the Constitutional Court that Mkhwebane put forward “a number of falsehoods in the course of litigation”, including under-oath-misrepresentation of certain facts that underpinned her investigation.
To have a person so found by the apex court of the land continuing in the capacity of the Public Protector is toxic to our constitutional democracy – which Chapter 9 institutions were established to support. Moreover, the Constitutional Court upheld the High Court of South Africa’s finding that Mkhwebane “acted in bad faith”.
Farther afield, the SACP unwaveringly reiterates its endorsement of the #HandsOffOurDemocracy Campaign, its key tenet to Defend our Democracy and immediate objectives to fight corruption and confront state capture networks fightback.
Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, National Spokesperson & Head of Communications, SACP, 22 July 2019