The Democratic Alliance party will be opposing Adv Mkhwebane’s nomination as South Africa’s Public Protector.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt this from the utterances of the DA Shadow Minister of Justice, Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP, at a press conference held in Parliament ahead of the debate on the Public Protector nomination scheduled tomorrow.
DA has decided to oppose Adv Mkhwebane’s nomination saying her appointment would be unreasonable.
To the party, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane “was by no means the best candidate for such a position and was illogically preferred over other qualifying candidates.”
DA specified that she may turn out to be a capable candidate for the position. But then, contended that her qualifications and experience make her unsuitable for this position.
The party highlighted that they’ll kick against Adv Mkhwebane’s nomination for Public Protector due to the following reasons:
- She has little or no practical experience to justify such an appointment when compared with the experience of the other four candidates;
- Both Judge Weiner and Prof Majola were stronger candidates, in terms of experience and in terms of the quality of their interviews;
- Prof Majola as a candidate brings the bonus of his involvement in the Special Tribunal in Rwanda over the last seven years, he, unlike Adv Mkhwebane, has been at a certain distance from Government in South Africa.
- Adv Mkhwebane, on the other hand, has always been employed in and around government and has already indicated that she wants to have a more ‘friendly relationship with government’;
- Much was made of the fact that she was a senior investigator at the office of the Public Protector previously, but in our view, the fact (is) that she served during the tenure of Lawrence Mushwana, when the office showed little to no appetite to vociferously investigate government corruption.
- She was employed by Home Affairs as a Director (salary level approximately R1 million annually) immediately prior to this process being initiated;
- She changed employment around June 2016, and went to State Security Agency (SSA) as an analyst.
- When asked in the interview why she had changed jobs for what is ostensibly a demotion, her reply was that she “was passionate about the Constitution”. While this is noble value to hold; it alone does not make her eligible for the position or separate her from the other more qualified candidates; and
- We have been advised that the time spent as an “immigration officer” in China is also suspicious, having been informed that this is simply coded language for being on the payroll of SSA.
With the above reasons, DA expressed that the Public Protector cannot be seen as even remotely connected to the State Security Agency.
“While this doesn’t make Adv Mkhwebane the worst candidate, it does not make her the best either.
The secrecy around her work at the SSA makes it almost impossible to ascertain whether or not her role and conduct are beyond reproach and befitting the office of the Public Protector who is constitutionally mandated to be ‘a fit and proper person to hold such office,'” DA argued.
In furtherance, the DA indicated that Adv Mkhwebane could not confirm that she had ‘acquired any combination of experience … for a cumulative period of at least 10 years’ as demanded by the Constitution.
For these reasons, and the “ever present danger of state capture by the President,” DA remarked that it is of enormous importance to ensure the appointment of a new Public Protector who is beyond any suspicion.