‘I am not bringing any agendas‚ I am here to work’ – Public Protector Mkhwebane

Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seriously considering taking the Democratic Alliance to the cleaners for its allegations that she was a spy.

“I have given them enough time to do that but unfortunately they have not done that. So now I am seriously considering taking legal action on that matter because it impacts on the integrity of the institution.

“I do not think as an institution we would want to be led by a spy‚” she said.

Reporting on her first 100 days in office‚ Mkhwebane said it was a “bumpy start”‚ saying this was because of the negative reports on her‚ referring to her as a spy‚ a Gupta puppet and a President Protector.

She said because of the “allegations made on me‚ you find yourself having to prove yourself to people‚ to say ‘I am here to work‚ I am here to deliver services and I am not bringing any agendas’.”

“But it has been a good reception from the staff and we are working together.”

She signalled an awareness of stepping into big shoes‚ due to the popularity of her predecessor‚ advocate Thuli Madonsela.

“With a heightened interest in the character of the person who was going to succeed Advocate Madonsela as shown during the parliamentary process to find her replacement‚ it is not surprising that my seven-year‚ non-renewable term of office got off to a rather rocky start.

“What I did not expect though‚ was the peddling of half-truths‚ fabrications‚ innuendos and vitriol about me and my being‚” Mkhwebane said.

Advocate Mkhwebane was speaking to journalists to mark her first 100 days in office.

She disclosed that while she has no problem with the Public Protector office’s State of Capture report and that its remedial actions are binding‚ she is seeking legal advice on whether to oppose the president’s judicial review application.

Though she has filed her notice to oppose the review application by President Jacob Zuma‚ she said she is seeking legal advice to be sure whether to oppose or not.

Of interest is whether the Public Protector can direct the president to appoint a judicial inquiry.

In November 2016‚ Madonsela directed that a commission of inquiry into the allegations of state capture must be conducted and that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng should appoint a judge to preside over the commission.

But Zuma argues that any attempt to implement Madonsela’s remedial action would be an abdication of his constitutional responsibility‚ rendering the judicial inquiry “unlawful and a nullity“. He further argues in papers filed in the North Gauteng high court that the decision to establish a commission of inquiry‚ as well as its head‚ was his.

Mkhwebane said this is where her complexities emanate‚ as there is no precedence.

“The complexity comes in the sense that we do not have precedence over this matter so it is checking whether the institution like the public protector can instruct the president to perform his duties in terms of the provisions of the constitution. So‚ it is just making sure that we clarify that. It does not make sense for me to go ahead to oppose. You must have reasons why you are opposing‚” she said.


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