Information Regulator, FIC could take legal action against Mkhwebane over CR17 – report

Image credit: Twitter/Public Protector SA

Information Regulator and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) could take legal action against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Sunday Times reports.

This follows concerns that privacy laws and the FIC Act were allegedly breached in the way CR17 bank statements were obtained and leaked.

According to the report, Information Regulator head Pansy Tlakula is considering joining President Cyril Ramaphosa’s case “as a friend of the court.”

Ramaphosa’s review

Ramaphosa has taken Mkhwebane’s report on the CR17 campaign donations on judicial review.

Among the concerns his review has raised includes the manner in which Mkhwebane obtained CR17 bank statements.

If the president demonstrates that the statements were obtained unlawfully, it bolsters his chances of the report being set aside.

Tlakula told Sunday Times that the regulator would make a decision on Monday whether to join the case or not.

Privacy issues have been raised so we are considering whether we should join or not.

Pansy Tlakula

‘Breached FIC Act’

The FIC is similarly considering its options, according to a source quoted by the Sunday Times.

There are concerns that Mkhwebane may have breached the FIC Act by making public the information contained in the statements, the source said.

The source said Mkhwebane should have independently issued subpoenas to the banks to obtain the information if she wanted to cite it in her report.

The Public Protector’s office has previously stated that it has a “memorandum of understanding” with FIC.

According to the office, this was the basis for obtaining the bank statements from FIC.

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