Mkhwe­bane de­fends meet­ing with Pres­i­dency

Party to in­sti­tute re­moval steps in par­lia­ment

Sowetan - - Front Page - By Loy­iso Sidimba sidim­bal@sowe­tan.co.za

There was noth­ing sin­is­ter about the meet­ing be­tween pub­lic pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane and the Pres­i­dency.

This was the de­fence given by Mkhwe­bane’s spokes­woman Cleo Mosana over an ex­plo­sive Re­serve Bank af­fi­davit, claim­ing the meet­ing un­der­mined the in­de­pen­dence of her of­fice.

Mosana dis­missed the af­fi­davit filed at the North Gaut­eng High Court as “a gross ex­ag­ger­a­tion of the whole thing”.

In the af­fi­davit the cen­tral bank said Mkhwe­bane wanted to un­der­mine the bank when she dis­cussed her in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Absa’s lifeboat with the State Se­cu­rity Agency (SSA).

Yes­ter­day, DA MP Glyn­nis Breyten­bach said the party would ur­gently in­sti­tute re­moval pro­ceed­ings in par­lia­ment against Mkhwe­bane for first con­sult­ing Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s le­gal ad­vis­ers and dis­cussing rec­om­men­da­tions not in­cluded in her ini­tial re­port.

Mosana said the Pres­i­dency was among the in­ter­ested par­ties in the mat­ter.

She said Mkhwe­bane would file her re­sponse in due course.

The Re­serve Bank filed a sup­ple­men­tary af­fi­davit to have Mkhwe­bane’s fi­nal re­port into the R1.125-bil­lion lifeboat given to Absa and its pre­de­ces­sor Bankorp de­clared pro­ce­du­rally un­fair and ir­ra­tional.

The bank has also taken is­sue with the meet­ing be­tween the Pres­i­dency and Mkhwe­bane, who heads a con­sti­tu­tion­ally pro­tected in­sti­tu­tion re­quired to be in­de­pen­dent and to con­duct its in­ves­ti­ga­tions im­par­tially and with­out fear, favour and prej­u­dice.

It said there was no le­git­i­mate ba­sis on which to dis­cuss with the Pres­i­dency the pro­posed re­me­dial ac­tion to amend the con­sti­tu­tion to de­prive the Re­serve Bank of its role in pro­tect­ing the value of the cur­rency.

Ac­cord­ing to the bank, dis­cussing the re­port with the Pres­i­dency de­stroys the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s in­de­pen­dence.

“The fact that this topic was dis­cussed with the SSA in­di­cates that the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion was aimed at un­der­min­ing the Re­serve Bank,” reads the af­fi­davit filed by the Re­serve Bank’s coun­sel Jo­hannes de Jager.

The Re­serve Bank said the at­tack was ev­i­dence of bias, or a rea­son­able ap­pre­hen­sion of bias on Mkhwe­bane’s part.

“It also shows that her re­me­dial ac­tion had an ul­te­rior pur­pose,” the bank said.

Ad­vo­cate Paul Hoff­man, who sub­mit­ted the ini­tial com­plaint on the Absa lifeboat to the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s of­fice, said Mkhwe­bane must have the op­por­tu­nity of re­ply­ing to the se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions made against her of ul­te­rior mo­tive, bias and act­ing in a man­ner which is pro­ce­du­rally un­fair. UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said Mkhwe­bane was out of or­der and needed strong le­gal ad­vice.

SIMPHIWE NKWALI

Pub­lic pro­tec­tor Ad­vo­cate Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane is un­der fire for con­sult­ing the Pres­i­dency.

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