Mkhwebane asks ConCourt to rescind finding that she 'changed' wording of key ethics code in 'CR17' investigation

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has approached the Constitutional Court to request that it rescind its statement that she had “changed” the Executive Code of Ethics as part of her investigation into the “CR17" campaign funding investigation.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has approached the Constitutional Court to request that it rescind its statement that she had “changed” the Executive Code of Ethics as part of her investigation into the “CR17" campaign funding investigation.
Image: Picture: REUTERS

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has approached the Constitutional Court to request that it rescind its statement that she had “changed” the Executive Code of Ethics as part of her investigation into the “CR17" campaign funding investigation.

The court ruled earlier this month that Mkhwebane changed the wording of the code to conclude that President Cyril Ramaphosa had inadvertently or deliberately misled the legislature.

It made the finding as it dismissed Mkhwebane's appeal against the judgment of the Pretoria high court, which in March last year set aside a report in which she found Ramaphosa misled parliament about funding for his campaign to be elected ANC president in 2017.

The Constitutional Court also held that both the constitution and the Public Protector Act do not empower Mkhwebane to investigate the private affairs of political parties.

In a statement on Sunday, Mkhwebane's office confirmed that it had approached the apex court on Friday, to apply for a “rescission, varying and/or reconsideration” of its ruling.

“The application centres on the patently erroneous finding that the public protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, 'changed' the Executive Code of Ethics, replacing the word 'wilfully' with 'deliberately or inadvertently'. This finding was pivotal to the decision to dismiss the appeal.

“It will be argued respectfully in court that, in fact, the court relied on the old version of the code, which was published in 2000 while Adv Mkhwebane invoked, verbatim, the provisions of the amended version of 2007, which the Constitutional Court has itself endorsed as recently as March 2016 in the EFF v Speaker of the National Assembly case,” her office said.

Her office said there were implications of the case being dismissed on her “personal and professional capacities”.

“The dismissal of the appeal also has serious implication for the work of the office, which is the sole enforcer of executive ethics under the Executive Members’ Ethics Act [of] 1998,” the statement said.

This is a developing story.

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