Mkhwebane surely captured by president's keepers

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. / SANDILE NDLOVU Iphotory
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. / SANDILE NDLOVU Iphotory

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane is bringing her office into disrepute. When she took over from Thuli Madonsela, the office was flawless, disliked only by corrupt leaders stealing from the government.

South Africans that came across wrong-doers, especially in government, felt protected under Madonsela's watch and were happy to give her information on corruption to investigate. The same cannot be said about Mkhwebane. She is unfit to be the public protector and must be removed. Here are some of the reasons:

She applied for the postponement of a bid to set aside her Absa bank-CIEX report, only to withdraw the application hours later, and offered to pay punitive costs.

This is a serious waste of tax-payers' money. She knows she will not pay out of her own pocket but you and I will have to fork it out.

Mkhwebane also came under fire following her order that parliament should amend the constitution to change the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank. When the bank went to court to overturn her findings, she admitted she was wrong.

The public protector is not doing her job properly. She entered the debate on state capture indirectly, defending those implicated.

After the publication of The President's Keepers, she in a tweet discouraging people from buying the book: "And fall into the trap of increasing sales for certain individuals don't think it's a wise move don't think it is a wise move SC, boleka from oyithengile." Several people responded and questioned her position on serious allegations contained in the book. She even blocked some who were questioning her on Twitter.

How can a public protector express opinions on a book the State Security Agency and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) want to take action against? The book connects the dots on those involved in state capture. The public protector has to protect the public - not wrong-doers.

Mkhwebane's tweet is damaging to her office. It suggests she is captured. The likes of President Jacob Zuma and SARS boss Tom Moyane must have wanted to hide because she gave away the game plan and her interests when she posted the tweet.

It is clear she cannot hide her loyalty on the state capture issue. In fact, the Reserve Bank dealt with the state capture she is defending. She uses the same tactics Zuma uses, running to the courts all the time.

Even the laziest public protector, like Lawrance Mushwana, never made findings that saw him backtrack, while Madonsela won all her arguments regardless of being hated for doing a great job.

The constitution allows the public protector to serve one term. They must not feel they have to do anyone a favour. Public protectors must make their mark, be a good watchdog and not be doubted.

Mkhwebane is none of these.

Madam, remember you have to honour the constitution and the people of South Africa.

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