The High Court in Pretoria has found Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has shown total disregard for the taxpayer which is among the reasons the court ordered personal costs against her.
Judge Ronel Tolmay has ordered the Public Protector personally to pay 7.5% of the legal costs for the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac).
The two parties successfully applied to the court to have Mkhwebane’s report on the Vrede dairy farm project to be reviewed and set aside.
When the DA and lobby group Casac filed separate applications against the Public Protector related to the same Estina Dairy Farm project, Advocate Mkhwebane appointed two sets of legal teams to handle the matter.
Judge Tolmay said this was unacceptable.
“This decision by the Public Protector, unfortunately, shows a total disregard for the taxpayer who will have to foot the bill and after her complaint about how financial constrains limited her ability to properly investigate the complaints.”
The Public Protector’s office said it would appeal the judgment.