Mkhwebane is also facing a parliamentary inquiry brought by the opposition DA which may lead to her removal over a number of investigations, including the Absa/Reserve Bank matter, which she bungled.
Her spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, in a statement said Mkhwebane had been on leave since Friday last week.
“Public protector Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane has gone on a sabbatical leave to get some rest. The leave commenced on 15 January and will end on 31 March. Such a leave of absence is provided for in the terms and conditions applicable to the position of public protector.
“While Adv Mkhwebane is away, deputy public protector, Adv Kholeka Gcaleka, is holding the fort as acting public protector. Adv Gcaleka’s tenure in this regard started on 15 January and will run until and including 31 March.”
Segalwe said National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise was aware of Mkhwebane’s sabbatical and had given her the go-ahead.