Blind eye to pro­tec­tor

Business Day - - OPINION -

The great pity about the brouhaha over our new pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s al­leged mis­con­duct and lack of com­pe­tence to do her job ef­fec­tively is that a de­tailed com­plaint about the way she was go­ing about her then-new job was made to the jus­tice port­fo­lio com­mit­tee of the Na­tional As­sem­bly as long ago as Jan­uary 16. The full com­plaint and rel­e­vant cor­re­spon­dence trail is ac­ces­si­ble at: http://ac­count­abil­i­tynow.org.za/ ciex-pub­lic-pro­tec­tor-com­plaint/.

It suf­fices to say Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane’s in­tegrity was im­pugned in the com­plaint and her ir­reg­u­lar modus operandi in deal­ing with the self-same Ciex com­plaint was crit­i­cised. Par­lia­ment was asked to rein her in, set her right and even to leg­is­late to get her to func­tion more ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently, with the nec­es­sary dig­nity and deco­rum ex­pected of all Chap­ter Nine in­sti­tu­tions.

Had the jus­tice port­fo­lio com­mit­tee re­acted timeously to the com­plaint, it would by now have been aired, and the pub­lic pro­tec­tor would have been given the op­por­tu­nity of ex­plain­ing her er­rant ways and cor­rect­ing or re­fin­ing her modus operandi.

Alas, the com­plaint has been ig­nored with the se­ri­ously dele­te­ri­ous con­se­quences the Re­serve Bank now raises in its ju­di­cial re­view of the re­me­dial ac­tion as di­rected by her in the fi­nal Ciex re­port. The Re­serve Bank first re­alised it was an af­fected party (truly a bolt from the blue) af­ter the re­port was pub­lished.

Paul Hoff­man, SC Di­rec­tor, Ac­count­abil­ity Now

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