Politics

Busisiwe Mkhwebane is not the only PP whose reports have been overturned

Busisiwe Mkhwebane is not the only PP whose reports have been overturned

Johannesburg - A lot of focus has been placed on Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s reports being overturned by the courts of law, but it was not always plain sailing for her lauded predecessor Thuli Madonsela either. 

Mkhwebane’s role as public protector is coming under increasing scrutiny with the latest blow being the dismissal of her application by the Constitutional Court to set aside a Pretoria High Court judgment which last year ordered that she was liable to cough up 15 percent of the costs in the Absa/Bankorp bailout case. 

On Monday the Constitutional Court ruled that Mkhwebane had lied under oath and acted in bad faith in the case of the South African Reserve Bank R1.125 billion bailout of Absa in the early 1990s. 

Another high profile Mkhwebane report that has been set aside is the Vrede Dairy Farm project report which the North Gauteng court set aside and labelled unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid after it found that she had narrowed the scope of her investigation into the embezzled R220 million meant to assist emerging farmers. 

However Mkhwebane’s predecessor, Madonsela, earlier this year had one of her own reports overturned in the courts after it was deemed “totally irrational” and “factually incorrect” in April. 

The case is related to the September 2014 report by Madonsela, looking into a dispute over the manufacturing of vehicle number plates, in which she recommended that the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) pay Chatsworth based businessman James Prabudass R400 000 after he had lodged a complaint in 2001 following the withdrawal of his permit. 

The SABS had revoked Prabudass’ permit stating that he was not complying with specifications and could no longer use their brand, which meant his number plates were no longer official. 

The SABS brought the case under review in court and it was subsequently reviewed and set aside with Madonsela’s recommendations labelled unfair and irrational, after the SABS had not been handed Pradubass’ complaint, and that Madonsela had not approached the matter with an inquiring mind. 

In 2015, former Eskom Group CEO Lucky Montana also threatened to take Madonsela’s report into Prasa, which labeled Montana as “inaccurate and inconsistent”, under review in a court of law.  

At the time Montana said that he was disappointed with Madonsela’s report saying that it contained “many factual inaccuracies” despite him making detailed submissions to the then public protector.