Public Protector has no power to ask for change of Constitution - EFF

2017-06-20 22:38
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (File, Netwerk24)

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The Public Protector has no power to give instructions for constitutional amendment, the Economic Freedom Fighters said on Tuesday.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane recommended that Parliament change the Constitution to amend the mandate of the Reserve Bank when she released her report into the “misappropriation” of apartheid funds.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has questioned her “wisdom and understanding” by instructing Parliament to amend the Constitution.

Ndlozi said now Parliament was forced to amend the Constitution or take her remedial action on review as the Constitutional Court ruled last year that the Public Protector’s remedial actions are binding.

“The Public Protector is not a public representative, she does not have a constituency that voted for her. The Constitution is a document of the people and it can only be amended by those who speak for the people, which is Parliament," Ndlozi said.

The Public Protector is appointed through interviews by public representatives and not even judges have the power to make an instruction that the Constitution must be amended, Ndlozi said.

The party has however welcomed her recommendation that ABSA bank pay back R1.25bn as part of “money misappropriated” during the apartheid era. ABSA took over the bank in the 90s.

“We welcome the remedial action in relation to ABSA as an important step in dealing with corruption in the private white owned capital. Indeed, many studies have shown that white monopoly capitalism has survived both under apartheid and the current regime through corruption,” Ndlozi said earlier in a statement.

He accused the ANC government of allowing white capital to go unpunished for its role in apartheid and for their part in corruption in the post 1994 government.

Another organisation Black Empowerment Foundation has also welcomed Mkhwebane’s recommendation that the Special Investigating Unit recover billions allegedly stolen during the apartheid era.

“It was also concerning that she found the government to have acted improperly by failing to act on a report by a United Kingdom based recovery agency, CIEX which was contracted 20 years ago to locate and recover misappropriated looted funds and assets during apartheid," spokesperson Zola Qoboshiyane said.

Qoboshiyane also slammed former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni, accusing him of not “resolving the mess” during his tenure.

“The direction to this investigation into the matter affirms our view that he remains soft on the broad scale sickening corruption of the apartheid regime and white monopoly capital. At best he sounds like a defender for white monopoly capital and apartheid corruption,” Qoboshiyane said.

Mboweni said on his Facebook page that he had launched an investigation headed by a judge consisting of highly qualified people in economics, finance, accounting and political complexities, both black and white and with international expertise.

He said following their report the matter was concluded, and that the report was submitted to the Public Protector during her current investigation.

“This report, it would seem, at reading the media reports, was ignored or might have been complex. I do not want to be judgemental,” Mboweni wrote.

But BEF has accused him of sweeping it under the carpet.

The BEF also said it was disgusted by market reaction to the recommendation. The rand tanked on Monday, by 1.44% to trade at R13 to the dollar at 14:25.

“Once again it proves to us the bias and inequitable hand of the market when it comes to issues of South Africa’s sovereign justice and basic issues of redress from the economic slaughter of the past apartheid injustice."

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte warned against meddling with the independence of the bank.

Read more on:    eff  |  busisiwe mkhwebane  |  mbuyiseni ndlozi

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