President Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers have urged public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to back out of her increasingly heated legal battle with the head of state over her demand that he take disciplinary action against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan — or face the possibility of yet another adverse legal costs order against her office.

Mkhwebane was last week ordered by the Constitutional Court to personally pay 15% of the Reserve Bank’s legal costs in its battle to overturn her report on the apartheid-era bailout given to Bankorp. She is facing a possible adverse costs order against her over her invalid investigation into the Gupta-linked Estina dairy farm scam, and Gordhan is also seeking a personal costs order against her in his current legal challenges to her SA Revenue Service (Sars) “rogue unit” and Pillay reports.

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