Public Protector admits she's wrong - why did it take so long?

The newly appointed Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane during an interview on October 08, 2016 in Pretoria. Photo: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Moeletsi Mabe

JOHANNESBURG – Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has made a u-turn on ordering a change in the Reserve Bank's mandate.


Mkhwebane is now admitting she was wrong to order amendments to the Constitution, to alter the focus of the bank.

eNCA specialist reporter, Karyn Maughan says the Public Protector has acknowledged that she basically overstepped the mark and didn’t have the ability in her position to order constitutional amendments.

"She’s no longer opposing the South African Reserve Bank, and parliament’s challenge to that remedial action. She’s agreed to pay costs, and she’s agreed that a court must review and set aside her remedial action because it is unlawful," explains Maughan. 

One legal expert says it was always obvious that the Public Protector did not have the law on her side when she ordered Parliament to change the Constitution.

According to James Grant , “she would have received is papers from all the opposing parties which would have included very well-argued opinions from the opposing parties."

Read: Mkhwebane has shown which way she is leaning: DA

"Not that it's required to persuade one that you can't order Parliament to change the law as the Public Protector and you can't order Parliament to change the Constitution, that was always fairly straight forward, but you expect that the papers that she would have received from the very senior counsel of opposing parties representing Parliament must have persuaded her and I suspect this is what's brought this on,” says Grant. 


The DA says Busisiwe Mkhwebane should not be the Public Protector, as she does not understand the role of the office. The party says the acknowledgement raises serious questions about her ability to perform independently.

READ: Opposition parties call on public protector to step down

The SACP's Jeremy Cronin has lauded Mkhwebane for backing down on her controverisal ruling. 




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