Don’t be quick to scorn protector
THE MEDIA and commentators were again, without reflection, having a field day about the public protector’s decision to withdraw, with costs, her application to oppose the SA Reserve Bank’s (SARB) court challenge of her remedial action.
She should have first weighed her options before going public.
Be that as it may, she wasn’t wrong on her call to have Parliament amend the constitution in order to have the SARB’s mandate expanded to be in line with the central banks of many countries in both the developing and developed world.
All the central banks of the world, including South Africa, were established through acts of parliament. The SARB was established through Act No 31 of 1920. So why was the establishment of the SARB in 1996 entrenched in the country’s constitution?
This was precisely to frustrate legitimate efforts to amend the constitution in order to redress the socio-economic imbalances created by the apartheid government.
Before gloating with glee, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhebane’s critics should concede that this country’s constitution was not properly drafted by a constituent assembly and ratified through a referendum.
This means that the majority of the African people didn’t take part in its drafting and adoption. It was literally imposed on the African people and that it was drafted by the elite in secret in such a way that it becomes difficult to amend.
Furthermore, no mechanisms exist in the provisions of this country’s constitution that allow even to tinker on its edges.
The governing party, the finance minister, the Speaker of Parliament and the SARB all came down on the public protector like a ton of bricks. Considering that the SARB itself prints money out of nothing, she was overwhelmed. She may also have been intimidated that she would personally pay legal costs should the courts find against her.
Her withdrawal, therefore, should be viewed in that light. She is retreating not because she blundered or was defeated. Her withdrawal should be viewed not as a defeat, but as a tactical withdrawal. She may have withdrawn, but she shook the citadels of capitalism and its apologists to their very foundations and sent shivers through Western capitals.
In other countries like Australia that have an ombudsman, which we call public protector, the ombud can also investigate complaints about delays in processing Freedom of Information (Act) requests.
I propose to invoke the Freedom of Information Act so the public protector can investigate and reveal the names of all the SARB’s shareholders to see if there are not ANC bigwigs and former apartheid officials on its shareholders’ list.
The bank has four subsidiaries, namely the South African Mint Company (SA Mint), the SA Bank Note Company, the SA Reserve Bank Captive Insurance Company and the Corporation for Public Deposits. The bank is the sole owner of its subsidiaries.
Coining operations in Pretoria evolved into the South African Mint, which was established in 1923, and functioned as a division of the central government.
When the government sold the South African Mint to the SARB in 1988, it was decided to house the coining activities in a wholly-owned subsidiary company, the SA Mint Company.
When the apartheid government sold the mint to the SARB in 1988, they knew that they were instructed to give over the running of the country to their puppets in the ANC as Anglo-American revealed that they wanted their black puppets to run the country.
Who among the African people are employed by these four subsidiaries of the SARB? Let them raise their hands; let’s see them. Who is on the board of the bank and its management structure?
Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the SARB, said they outsourced printing of money to foreign countries for security. So SA currency is printed abroad, probably in Germany and creating jobs there while there is high unemployment in this country.
Those who say the public protector overstepped her mandate must think hard and deep. Kagiso
WRITE TO US
‘SHE HAS A POINT’: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane conceded her court battle ‘under duress’.