Three conclusions stand out from Tuesday’s high court judgment in the matter between the public protector and the South African Reserve Bank in which the former’s remedial action was set aside and declared unconstitutional. Busisiwe Mkhwebane had said Parliament had to amend the Constitution to change the mandate of the Reserve Bank. The first conclusion is that the public protector has inflicted unnecessary damage on the country and the economy. The second is that she has done the same to herself and her office. The third is that it is quite possible that she is not finished yet. There was no prospect that the court could have found anything different. Early on, Mkhwebane conceded that she had erred in instructing Parliament to amend the Constitution and so did not oppose the Bank’s application. She also offered to pay the costs, which must have been hefty. Nine advocates alone appeared in the matter. The judgment overturned the remedial action on several grounds: it violated the p...

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