A Zuptoid reason why the Public Protector is forcing the Reserve Bank to court

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

CAPE TOWN — In an astute, appealing ‘’bigger picture’’ proposition on why the Public Protector has pushed the Reserve Bank into a legal corner, forcing it to take her obdurate but binding recommendation to court, Andrea Robertson, gives us a light bulb moment. Based on strong legal opinion that Busisiwe Mkhwebane has not a hope in Hades of forcing a change in the SARB’s mandate through a Constitutional amendment, such a court loss would, however, create a legal precedent on the PP’s findings being binding. This would render Zuma’s challenge of a judicial enquiry into State Capture recommended by her predecessor Thuli Madonsela, much stronger. Robertson’s thesis shows how easily we can get tunnel vision and forget the fundamental motives behind Zuma and his captured Zuptoids’ chess moves. If Robertson, a successful former practising lawyer-turned property developer, is right, it fits in with previous moves by Msholozi and his cadres. There are some cool, tactical heads in the ruling Zuptoid cadre. Witness how the millions spent on Bell Pottinger PR paid off – we now have White Monopoly Capital as the false spine of a common discourse. Its credibility may be degenerating, but it’s held up for a damagingly-long time. – Chris Bateman

By Andrea Roberston*

We all know the details by now. The PP has found, after investigating the Bankorp/ABSA saga that somehow following on from this investigation, the Constitution has to be changed to facilitate a change of policy at SARB, which policy change she then also prescribes. This is her OFFICIAL finding.

As Steven Friedman, one of our foremost economists, points out, this leaves the SARB no option but to take her on in Court to reverse this finding, because, of course, it took many millions in taxpayer funds to allow the Constitutional Court to find in its landmark Nkandla judgment against Zuma in 2015, that the PP’s findings are binding unless taken on review in a court.

The logo of the South African Reserve Bank sits on a lecturn during a news conference by the Governor Lesetja Kganyago to announce interest rates on Jan. 28, 2016. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Now let us examine the cynicism behind these moves by the captured PP whose strings surely are being pulled by the Zuptoids. Already the timing of this hasty publishing of her findings in a matter which has been resting quietly for 20 odd years is a bit suspect, but you will see why below.

Very simply put, Zuma has a small problem in how to deal with the “State Capture” report finalized and made public in November 2016 by the then PP, Ms Thuli Madonsela. He has indicated that he intends to take Ms Madonsela’s findings on review as not binding because she has usurped his absolute executive authority. This argument is of course not strong. If one is not the person with the bulls-eye on their forehead, it is clear that Ms Madonsela did not usurp any executive powers because she only set out the protocol to follow in investigating State capture.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela

She has even explicitly stated that she respects Zuma’s executive powers in this regard. She has said that Zuma must convene the commission. Nor has she prescribed whom to appoint to chair the commission, only that the Chief Justice, once Zuma has convened the commission within a certain period, must decide on who should chair this commission.  

So, given the weakness of Zuma’s case, how much nicer would it not be if he were able to point to a SUCCESSFUL COURT review finding AGAINST a PP’s “binding” finding, by the time he argues his case? So how does one achieve this?

By setting up a “binding” finding by his PP appointee, which is so preposterous that it HAS to be taken on review by the institution against which the finding has been made – the SARB. And because of the PP’s lunatic usurpation of Parliament’s power – who are the only institution in South Africa capable of changing the Constitution, the review will OBVIOUSLY go against the PP.

Voila! Precedent for a PP’s binding findings successfully being overturned by a Court. Cue to Zuma’s insane giggle as he tries to argue “same, same” in his case.

  • Andrea Robertson practised as a lawyer for 11 years, and then obtained an MBA
    at Stellenbosch University in 1997/8. She then changed direction and became a residential property developer.
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