WATCH: ANC and DA punishing me for my investigations into their leaders - Mkhwebane

Published Aug 30, 2023


Suspended Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane said she believed the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) were unrelenting in their pursuit to have her removed from office because they actually wanted to punish her for holding their leaders accountable.

The Section 194 committee inquiring into Mkhwebane's fitness for office adopted its final report recommending her removal from office last week.

The report will now be referred to the National Assembly, where it will be debated and voted on, with a two-thirds majority required for Mkhwebane's removal.

While the ANC, DA, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), and Freedom Front Plus supported the report's adoption, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) rejected the report, and Al Jamah-ah only rejected the recommendation that Mkhwebane be removed from office.

In a media briefing called by Mkhwebane at the Premier Hotel in Midrand, she said what the DA and ANC were really seeking was her punishment for doing her work "without fear, favour, or prejudice, for asking 31 Phala Phala questions, for the CR17 report, for the rogue unit report, and for commenting on the economic impact of the Reserve Bank mandate on the poor".

"The truth is out now. It is also revealing that the vote in Parliament is a foregone conclusion, according to the DA.

"They are so determined to punish me that issues such as three clean audits I produced are to them evidence of my incompetence," she said.

She also labelled the DA’s recent call for her to be immediately removed from office to avoid her receiving a R10 million “golden handshake” as “illiterate”.

She explained that even if she were to be removed today, a few weeks before the expiration of her term, she would still be entitled to the gratuity, which she said was approved by Parliament around 2002.

"What right-thinking South Africans must ask is: apart from pure hatred and vindictiveness, what is the purpose of ignoring all the rules of fairness and blindly steaming ahead with the removal of a Public Protector whose term will be ending in a couple of weeks’ time, and when the process of identifying a new Public Protector is almost finalised? The answer is that there is no rational purpose to be achieved," Mkhwebane said.

She added that she was still in discussions with her legal teams to finalise a strategy on the way forward, including whether to interdict while reviewing or lodge a review application.