Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane could soon be R900,000 poorer, following a judgment that left the door open for a further order that she abused her office in her handling of the Absa-Bankorp matter. In a judgment handed down on Friday — which set aside Mkhwebane’s finding that R1.125bn be recovered from Absa for an apartheid-era bailout granted to Bankorp, later bought by Absa — a full bench of the High Court in Pretoria found that Mkhwebane should pay a portion of the South African Reserve Bank’s legal costs in her personal capacity. "It is necessary to show our displeasure with the unacceptable way in which she conducted her investigation," Judge Cynthia Pretorius stated. "In the matter before us, it transpired that the public protector does not fully understand her constitutional duty to be impartial and to perform her functions without fear, favour or prejudice." Mkhwebane would be asked to "express an opinion on that opinion about her", when she appears before Parliament’s ...

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