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Just as the Nkandla case served to clarify what the public protector has the power to do, so the Absa/Bankorp case will, we trust, make crystal-clear what she cannot do — which is to amend SA’s Constitution. The Reserve Bank and Absa are launching court challenges to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s Absa/Bankorp report, with its outlandish and dangerous recommendation that Parliament amend the mandate of the Bank — a mandate set out in the Constitution. Parliament itself has now announced its intention to also take the report on judicial review on the grounds that Mkhwebane’s recommendation usurps Parliament’s powers under the Constitution. It is an unusual move by Parliament, but a welcome and essential one. It shows yet again that SA’s legislators are starting to find their voice and exercise their oversight power. It shows too that for all the state capture and erosion of institutions, SA still has institutions — Parliament included — capable of standing up to the predations...

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