Let’s hope public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane doesn’t embarrass easily. All indications so far, given her numerous monumental blunders, is that she isn’t overly burdened by the need for introspection.
This week, the Reserve Bank filed court papers opposing Mkhwebane’s ruling that the central bank’s mandate ought to be altered, in which it launched the most blistering assault on her yet.
Johann de Jager, the Bank’s legal counsel, said Mkhwebane’s actions "break virtually every rule that applies to an organ of state".
He accused Mkhwebane of including "false statements" in her affidavits, and said she failed to properly explain why she met with the State Security Agency, and Jacob Zuma’s presidency twice.
"[Mkhwebane] evidently discussed amending the constitution with the presidency to take away the Reserve Bank’s primary function — a topic that bore no relation to her investigation."
If, as many think, Mkhwebane is there to push Zuma’s agenda, she has been thoroughly outed.
The trouble is that even though her Reserve Bank proposal is dead in the water, she was appointed only last year. This means she still has years in office, even though her actions suggest she’s there as a political pawn rather than for the noble job of protecting the public.