Public Protector 'attempting to try and claw back some ground'

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane presented her annual performance plan and budget to Parliament's Justice Committee on Tuesday and confirmed that she will investigate the political decision-makers in the Estina Dairy Farm matter.

READ: Political Desk: Gigaba to answer questions on Gupta naturalisation

Her latest decision comes after previous excuses why she would not investigate, among which was lack of funds, that it was former public protector's fault, and that the Hawks are investigating the matter. So what has changed now?

Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, a senior legal journalist at Tiso Blackstar, Karyn Maughan said this entire mess is the subject of the North Gauteng High Court application.

The initial report is being taken on review by a number of organisations and the Public Protector in her year in office has had a disastrous series of court judgments against her, says Maughan.

The most central of those are the two judgments found against related to the Reserve Bank matter, she adds, in which she was ordered to personally pay part of the legal costs. There were also suggestions in that court judgment that there could be a subsequent challenge to her ability in doing her job.

The court is saying that she did not appear to appreciate her function to operate without fear or favour. This (decision to investigate the Estina case) seems to be an attempt to try and claw back some ground in the mind of the public and in the mind of parliamentarians.

Karyn Maughan, Senior Legal Journalist at Tiso Blackstar

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