Not every decision by former public protector Thuli Madonsela has won the backing of the courts. A September 2014 report, for example, has been reviewed and set aside, with costs, after it was found to be "totally irrational". The matter was brought by the SA Bureau of Standards (SABS), which asked that the court review a Madonsela-era report concerning a dispute over the manufacture of vehicle numberplates. Judge Sulet Potterill said that while the decisions of the public protector are not subject to review under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, they are subject to "the principle of legality" and to rationality when it comes to procedure and substance. Central to the report was numberplate manufacturer James Prabudass. He was given a compliance certificate by the SABS in 1998 but complained to the public protector about the bureau in 2001. Following an initial inquiry, his complaint was put on hold. That same year, Prabudass lodged a second complaint, related to a notic...

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