Public Protector's 'foolish behaviour' threatens Constitution and economy - Phosa

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ANC presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa. (Lerato Sejake, News24)
ANC presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Johannesburg - African National Congress stalwart and presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa has accused Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane of constitutional overreach and threatening South Africa's economy.

He joins those who have voiced their disapproval of Mkhwebane since she released her findings of an investigation into the South African Reserve Bank's assistance to Bankorp between 1985 and 1995.

Absa bought the now defunct bank 1992.

Mkwebane has said the bank must repay the R1.25bn. She also recommended that Parliament consider changing currency laws by removing the Constitution's and SARB's mandate to protect the currency from inflation.

"Mkhwebane's actions are irresponsible and ultra vires [beyond the legal power and authority of the respected office that she leads]," said Phosa.

The former ANC treasurer general said Mkhwebane had brought the role of Public Protector into disrepute and was discrediting the treasured position that the institution held.

He said the Public Protector was failing to focus on her task of upholding the Constitution and serving the interests of all people in SA, accusing her instead of overstepping her authority and threatening the country's democracy.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has already shared its views on her recommendations, warning against meddling in the affairs of the country's central bank.

"Her foolish behaviour has resulted in a sharp, negative impact on South Africa's market and exchange and credit ratings," said Phosa.

He added that this would have sad and damaging effects on all citizens.


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