JOHANNESBURG – Lawyers for former chief operations officer (COO) in the Office of the Public Protector said on Thursday they would be moving their case to a higher court after losing in the High Court in Pretoria.
However, no details were given about whether they would apply for leave to appeal or approach the Constitutional Court. The High Court dismissed an application by Basani Baloyi to challenge her dismissal with costs.
In October, Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane dismissed Baloyi in what the former official claimed was motivated by ulterior motives. But Judge Mmonoa Teffo ruled that the High Court didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on the matter.
In her bid, Baloyi had taken two matters against Mkhwebane to court. First, was her dismissal and second, was Mkhwebane’s handling of certain investigations, saying she had breached her constitutional duty.
Baloyi’s lawyer Eric Mabuza said the court completely ignored the latter.
“She also wanted an order declaring that the Public Protector was violating the Constitution. In our respectful view, that is a serious allegation for the court to simply ignore and say it had no jurisdiction over the matter,” he said.
But Mkhwebane agreed with the court.
“In this matter, we’ve been arguing that it should be dealt with at a different forum and we welcome this judgement,” she said.
Mabuza said they would be approaching another court that should be able to rule on Baloyi’s dismissal and Mkhwebane’s conduct.