Quote of the week

Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation.  This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.

KHAMPEPE J and THERON J
Public Protector v South African Reserve Bank (CCT107/18) [2019] ZACC 29 (22 July 2019)
3 April 2007

Moseneke’s pay rise

Comments made about members of Parliament have been met with anger by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) deputy Chief Whip Sybil Seaton. She took exception to Judge Dikgang Moseneke‘s “derogatory” comments about members of Parliament after he completed a review on the remuneration of public office bearers. News24 Reports:

Referring to increases given to MPs, Moseneke told a Sunday newspaper: “We found an ingenious way of getting MPs off their backsides to do some constituency work.” Seaton called his comments disrespectful and belittling of MPs. “Yes, there might be MPs who sit on their ‘backsides’ doing very little, but so too do some judges and magistrates,” she said.

The MP queried the review committee’s approval of “huge” increases for magistrates and judges. “So how does Judge Moseneke justify their increases? Will those massive salary increases help get the judiciary off their “backsides”? I don’t think so,” Seaton added.

It is rather interesting that Judge Moseneke reccommended a huge increase for himself and for the Chief Justice (more than 50% in each case). Is there not perhaps a conflict of interest here? Should he not at least have recused himself when his own salary was discussed? Then again, how many MP’s don’t spend most of the time on their “backsides” – is it 20 or maybe 30 out of 400? Can’t be much more.

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