PARLIAMENT – Parliament on Wednesday welcomed the North Gauteng High Court ruling setting aside Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s remedial action on a bailout given to Bankorp in the apartheid era.
Parliament said it vindicated its position that Mkhwebane’s order to Parliament to amend section 224 of the Constitution to alter the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank had “encroached on the exclusive authority of the Legislature”.
It welcomed her decision to defend the court review of the report, which was brought by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
“The Public Protector’s order was unconstitutional as it went beyond the scope of the Public Protector’s mandate. This is strictly confined to the parameters set by the Constitution, of which the Public Protector is a creation and from which she derives her remedial powers.
“This would be so even if the Public Protector intended no more than to order the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee to introduce a motion for amending the Constitution – because that is also an exclusive function of Parliament.”
Parliament added that Mkhwebane’s order was “profoundly contrary to the values of a democratic government – accountability, responsiveness and openness – and blind to the requirements stipulated for a constitutional amendment”.
Mkhwebane had directed in her report that Absa be ordered to repay R1.12 billion regarding the bailout and gone further to recommend that the Constitution be amended to change the SARB’s mandate from protecting the local currency to ensuring the socio-economic well-being of citizens.
African News Agency