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SACP takes aim at Public Protector's office

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande,
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande,
Image: Thulani Mbele

The SA Communist Party has taken aim at embattled public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, calling for a parliamentary inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande said it was of the view that Mkhwebane had politicised the office and turned it into a "party political battlefield". He was speaking after the party's central committee held a plenary session at the weekend.

According to Nzimande, court rulings against Mkhwebane over her reports on the SA Reserve Bank and the Estina dairy farm saga were enough grounds to question the incumbent public protector's fitness.

Nzimande said parliament should settle the matter and also emphasise the role of the office, which the party believes Mkhwebane does not understand.

"Unfortunately, the office of the public protector, instead of being preoccupied with defending the poor and vulnerable, has become an instrument of the better-off in society to fight political and other battles," said Nzimande.

"It is for these reasons that the SACP is seriously concerned about the constant scathing court judgments against the current public protector. The SACP believes it is imperative for parliament to carry out an inquiry into her suitability.

"It is not because we have a personal agenda against her, but the court judgments have the potential to damage the standing of this office.

Meanwhile, the public protector yesterday "noted with concern" claims in a news article "based on a document purported to be a preliminary report" of her investigation relating to a Bosasa donation to Cyril Ramaphosa's 2017 presidential campaign.

Mkhwebane said her office will not comment on leaked documents.

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