July 20, 2024

‘I’ve Never Had Peace Since I Started As Public Protector’ – Mkhwebane

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Investigating “untouchables” was the reason why the inquiry was established, she said.

FILE PHOTO: ANC is hugely divided in Parliament about Public Protector's fitness to hold office decision. PICTURE: Image: Esa Alexander

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CAPE TOWN: Ms Mkhwebane expressed her excitement in giving evidence and denied delaying matters by approaching the courts.

South Africa’s corruption watchdog head, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has concluded her first day as a witness at the Parliamentary inquiry into her fitness to hold office. She spent most of the day being led by her legal representative, Advocate Dali Mpofu, on the context and background of the impeachment.

Ms Mkhwebane told the hearing that she is a victim of a political agenda led by the country’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA). She says anyone who analyses her work fairly will see that she is innocent of the charges brought against her. She took a veiled swipe at the government.

“It’s frustrating to see that I am now charged with incompetence. I never brought the country to 8 hours of load shedding and affect businesses and affect the livelihood of people and I am being treated like this. Maybe because I am not the right colour. I don’t know,” Ms Mkhwebane said.

Meanwhile, Ms Mkhwebane expressed her excitement about giving evidence and denied delaying matters by approaching the courts. Responding to her senior counsel, Advocate Mpofu, Ms Mkhwebane said that she had been out of favour since her first day on the job.

“It’s six and a half years now being the Public Protector and I would indicate that I never had peace since I started to work as the Public Protector and I think the cause of all the troubles, which you have indicated Advocate Mpofu, in your opening… touching the ‘untouchables,” she said.

Investigating “untouchables” was the reason why the inquiry was established, she said. Ms Mkhwebane said that she was participating in it to put the matter to rest. Adv Mpofu told the committee that they would first deal with the CR17 Bosasa matter involving the president, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, which he said “triggered” the inquiry.

“One of the main triggers why we are here, then we will go to the next level of ‘untouchables’ by going to the rogue unit (Ivan) Pillay cases,” he added.

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