South Africa’s highest court has ruled that the public protector – the state official in charge of investigating corruption – lied under oath and acted in bad faith.
The devastating judgement will add weight to claims that Busisiwe Mkhwebane is involved in dirty-tricks campaign to undermine President Cyril Ramaphosa and halt his campaign against high-level corruption, says the BBC’s Andrew Harding in Johannesburg.
Last week, Ms Mkhwebane ruled that Mr Ramaphosa had misled parliament and should be investigated.
Her critics say she is being used by supporters of former President Jacob Zuma, who is fighting corruption allegations himself.
Ms Mkhwebane says her work is being done according to the law and the constitution.
Many of Ms Mkhwebane’s recent reports have become swamped by scandal – and led to claims that she is siding with Mr Zuma’s faction within the governing African National Congress (ANC), our reporter says.
Mr Ramaphosa said on Sunday that he would be mounting a legal challenge against the public protector’s report that concluded he had deliberately misled parliament over a campaign donation for May’s election.
He denied the allegations, saying the report was “fundamentally and irretrievably flawed”.
The courts have overruled Ms Mkhwebane on several occasions recently.
In the latest ruling, the Constitutional Court fined Ms Mkhwebane £50,000 ($62,000) in legal fees from her own pocket in a dispute between her office and South Africa’s Reserve Bank.
Ms Mkhwebane has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Reacting to the judgement on Monday, she noted that the court had not been unanimous, our reporter says. –BBC