Mkhwebane just doesn't get it, says her lawyer
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane wants a judgment rescinded because she claims her lawyer was not acting on her instructions when he withdrew opposition in the matter.
But Advocate William Mokhari SC said Mkhwebane does not know the basics of the legal system and he acted to avoid a personal cost order that would inevitably have been issued against her.
According to a News24, Mokhari said: The court would have found her to be vexatious and would have ordered costs. There was no way that the case could have not been withdrawn.
The upshot is that Mkhwebane has approached the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to have a judgment that concluded her report on witness protection matters involving two KZN whistle-blowers should be declared invalid and be set aside.
But that's a waste of time and a cost to the taxpayer, notes Mokhari.
Mkhwebane claims that when Mokhari withdrew her opposition in the matter, he was not following her orders. She said in her papers: ‘At the time of withdrawing my opposition, although a representative of my office was present and my attorneys were also present, I was not consulted by either representative on the decision to withdraw my opposition.’
At issue was a judicial review of a Public Protector report that found Police Minister Bheki Cele and the SAPS failed to provide protection to whistle-blowers on corruption and police killings in KZN.
In her report, Mkhwebane found that Cele and the police's failure in this regard could have resulted in their assassination.
Cele argued he did not have the powers to grant protection, and Mkhwebane opposed the matter.
The News24 report says, however, the parties had obtained an order by consent in June after one of the whistle-blowers approached the court on an urgent basis in separate proceedings in March requesting protection from the Minister as per the Public Protector's report.
Despite this, Mkhwebane says she would have not withdrawn her objection to Cele's review.
Mkhwebane argued the court order used as a basis to come to an agreement to withdraw did not apply to her report even though it involved the same whistle-blower.
She said that judgment did not deal with the part of her report which found that Cele failed to co-operate with and respect her office.
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