17 December 2018


Busisiwe Mkhwebane almost SA's new Public Protector


Semphete Correspondent


09 September 2016

Only President Jacob Zuma's signature stands between Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane and the top seat at the Office of the Public Protector

Mkhwebane's name has been recommended to the President for consideration as South Africa's new Public Protector, to replace outgoing Advocate Thuli Madonsela. A total of 263 Members of Parliament voted in favour of Mkhwebane as a suitable candidate, 79 voted against her, while on MP from Congress of the People (Cope) abstained.

Madonsela's term of office expires next month. If the President decides to sign on Mkhwebane's appointment, the young Advocate will serve in the Public Protector position for a non-renewable term of seven years until 2023.

In Parliament on Wednesday evening House chairperson Cedric Frolick announced the results of the voting, which largely favoured Mkhwebane.
"The nomination of Advocate Busisiwe Joyce Mkhwebane is accordingly agreed to. The recommendation will now be forwarded to the President for consideration," Frolick said.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is the only party that objected to Mkhwebane's recommendation.

The Economic Freedom Fighters' Floyd Floyd Shivambu had this to say: "Public Protector Mkhwabane must serve with integrity and consistency. She must not be captured by politicians. Never sell your soul to politicians".

The EFF's statement said Mkhwebane showed more readiness for the Office of Public Protector than the other shortlisted candidates.
"We believe that she will hit the ground running. We believe that she must be given an opportunity and her integrity and values will be tested when she is in office."

The Office of the African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip welcomed the National Assembly's endorsement of Advocate Mkhwebane.

"We are confident that in Adv. Mkhwebane this Parliament has chosen a fit, proper and capable person with wealth of experience and qualifications in the areas of law, management, finance and investigation. Having served in various state institutions at a senior level for many years, including as Senior Investigator at the office of the Public Protector, we have no doubt that she will hit the ground running when she begins her seven-year term next month," said the ANC Chief Whip's Office in a statement.

The Office also said it was pleased by what it called “the highest level of transparency and openness with which the entire selection process was conducted, thus encouraging maximum public participation".

The majority of political parties represented in Parliament chose to rally behind Mkhwabane despite the DA's allegations that she worked as a spy for State Security Agency and that she was too close to President Zuma. The DA is yet to present any evidence proving this claim.

The United Democratic Movement’s Nqabayomzi Kwankwa said he could not understand why working for SSA should work against a candidate.
"Without evidence of wrongdoing, or a clear relationship with President Jacob Zuma, how can we block her appointment?" Kwankwa asked.

The ANC Women's League – which also reacted positively to Mkwebane's name being recommended – said: "The expectations of the ANCWL towards Adv. Mkhwebane is for her to exercise her powers and perform duties without fear, favour or prejudice and be impartial as guided by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa when appointed".