Today’s ruling by the North Gauteng High Court on the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report into the Estina Dairy matter, makes it clear that Parliament can no longer delay the removal proceedings against her.
Judge Ronel Tolmay handed down a scathing judgment lamenting the Public Protector’s handling of the Estina matter, stating that:
- She failed to fulfill her constitutional duties;
- Her dereliction of duty in this matter was “more lamentable” than in the ABSA/Bankorp matter; and
- She turned a blind eye to the poor.
Furthermore, the Court ruled that Mkhwebane personally pays legal costs of the Democratic Alliance and CASAC.
This ruling is an indictment on Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s competence. There is no more denying – the Public Protector is wholly unfit and improper to hold the office of such a crucial Chapter 9 body.
These bruising defeats are stacking up on a weekly basis, and the longer she stays at the helm of this institution, the more damage she will do.
In her almost three years in office, she has successfully tarnished the credibility, authority and independence of the Office of the Public Protector.
The DA respects the important role the Office of the Public Protector plays in strengthening South Africa’s democracy, however, we will not waver in holding an inept and problematic incumbent to account.