Mkhwebane loses SCA bid to appeal ruling on Estina dairy farm report
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's application to have the scathing Estina dairy farm judgment set aside.
In December, the High Court in Pretoria dismissed her leave to appeal and slapped her with a punitive costs order.
The SCA has also dismissed her attempt to challenge the Estina ruling, citing that Mkhwebane's appeal bid had no prospects of success and presented no other compelling reasons for the court to hear it.
Legal journalist Karyn Maughan says this is a significant blow for Mkhwebane because the SCA didn't even hear arguments her court bid, as was expected.
In August 2019, Judge Ronel Tolmay found that Mkhwebane's report into the Vrede Dairy Farm scandal was unconstitutional and invalid.
Tolmay declared that Mkhwebane had failed the people of South Africa in the way she dealt with the investigation.
The court ruled that the Public Protector's Office was liable for 85% of the legal costs and Mhkwebane personally liable for 7.5%.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) and rights group Casac applied to the court to have the 2018 report reviewed and set aside.
On Monday, Casac's director Lawson Naidoo posted the SCA's one-page order on Twitter.
Naidoo has told EWN that he isn't surprised by the latest ruling against the Public Protector.
Mhkwebane's bid to reverse the Estina judgment and the cost order has now failed in two courts.
Meanwhile, Mkhwebane faces the imminent prospect of an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.
This one is partially brutal because at one stage a lot of people - including myself, Casac, the DA, and the Public Protector herself - expected the Supreme Court of Appeal to hear arguments on her challenge to the Estina judgment.Karyn Maughan, legal journalist
The court decided that, [based] on the papers that she had filed, she didn't have the proverbial snowball's hope in hell and dismissed the entire case in a one-page order.Karyn Maughan, legal journalist
The courts are becoming increasingly 'militant' about not entertaining appeals that do not have a reasonable prospect of success.Karyn Maughan, legal journalist
The Estina case, I would argue, is the most devastating judgment that has been leveled against the Public Protector in a very long and prolific history of quite devastating judgments.Karyn Maughan, legal journalist
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