ConCourt grants Mkhwebane direct access to appeal personal costs order

The Constitutional Court has granted public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane direct access to challenge the constitutionality of the personal costs order made against her, her office has said.

In February, Mkhwebane was ordered by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to pay 15% of the legal costs of the South African Reserve Bank’s challenge to her Absa/Bankorp report.

READ MORE: Court dismisses Public Protector’s appeal on Bankorp-CIEX costs order

The report was set aside by the court, as well as her finding that Absa was liable to pay R1.25-billion to the government.

On Tuesday, Mkhwebane’s office welcomed the Constitutional Court’s decision to grant her leave to appeal the personal costs award.

“Advocate Mkhwebane respects the courts and their constitutional authority to issue orders that bind all persons and organs of state to which they apply,” public protector spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said.

“In the same breath, it is her considered view that a personal costs order against a public protector, as a result of the discharge of their constitutional mandate, is a threat to the ideal of a public protector that must meet the standards of independence, impartiality and the exercise of powers and performance of functions without fear, favour or prejudice.”

In March, the high court dismissed Mkhwebane’s bid to appeal the personal costs order, saying there was no reasonable prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion.

The matter in the Constitutional Court has now been set down for Tuesday, November 27, 2018.

Segalwe said Mkhwebane would not make any further public comments on the matter for the duration of the court process. — News24

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