CAPE TOWN, The South African Parliament Speaker, Baleka Mbete, has filed an affidavit Sunday supporting the application of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to stop the demand of the Public Protector (Ombudsman) for the SARB to change its mandate of the central bank, says Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

The Speaker also has asked the Gauteng High Court to allow her and the Chairperson of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, Mathole Motshekga, to act as applicants in the case, Mothapo said.

Last month, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane instructed Parliament to amend the Constitution so as to change its mandate of the SARB, adter accusing the central bank of failing to map out policies to boost economic growth, She wants to broaden the SARB's mandate but her order rattled investors, hit the Rand currency and exposed worsening divisions between State institutions in South Africa.

The effect of the Public Protector's amendment would be to remove the primary object of the SARB to protect the value of the currency, Mothapo said.

The SARB had earlier filed a court application to have the remedial action set aside.

"The order to amend the Constitution to strip the Reserve Bank of its primary function of protecting the value of the currency is also entirely unrelated to the improper conduct that she (Mkhwebane) found to have been committed," Mothapo said.

Mkhwebane's order is not a remedy and it is unconstitutional as it encroaches on Parliament's exclusive domain of enacting national legislation and goes beyond the scope of the Public Protector's mandate, said Mothapo.

"The Public Protector does not have the power to prescribe to Parliament how to exercise its legislative powers," he said.

The order is also undemocratic and profoundly contrary to the values of democratic government, accountability, responsiveness and openness and negates the special requirements to amend the Constitution, Mothapo added.

The SARB has been privately owned since its establishment in 1921, with formulating and implementing monetary policy as one of its main functions.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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