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In a legal first that her office described as puzzling, Busisiwe Mkhwebane has become the first public protector to have a judge prevent the release of an investigation report by the state institution. Pretoria High Court judge Cassim Sardiwalla on Thursday granted water affairs minister Gugile Nkwinti’s court bid to interdict Mkhwebane from releasing her report on his alleged abuse of power when he was in charge of rural development & land reform. While Sardiwalla has yet to provide full reasons for his decision, he appears to have been swayed by Nkwinti’s argument that he was not given enough time to answer allegations against him . The ruling, and its implication, is the latest controversy to embroil the public protector, who has found herself facing accusations that she is biased or does not understand her job. Her previous and ongoing legal woes include an order to change the Reserve Bank’s mandate, which was successfully challenged. Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago called her ru...

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