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Karyn Maughan | End of Stalingrad? Why Public Protector won't defend Mkhwebane's latest SARS report

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Busisiwe Mkwhebane during her impeachment hearing.
Busisiwe Mkwhebane during her impeachment hearing.
Jan Gerber

The Public Protector has spent millions defending indefensible reports on Sars and Minister Pravin Gordhan. Following advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's suspension, Karyn Maughan writes, her office has decided not to waste taxpayers' money on unwinnable cases.

Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane recently admitted to Parliament that her office had spent R67 122 771 in legal fees over the last two years: R52 million on defending her reports in court and R14,9 million on fighting the impeachment inquiry process against her.

Over the past few weeks, the section 194 committee tasked with interrogating Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office has heard evidence about the potential impact of her almost entirely fruitless and expensive litigation on her office's core function: to serve as a watchdog for South Africa's poorest and most vulnerable people.

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