President Jacob Zuma has announced advocate Busisiwe Joyce Mkhwebane “as the public protector of the Republic of South Africa for a period of seven years”.
The presidency made this known in a statement released on Thursday saying the appointment comes in terms of section 193(4) of the Constitution and on the recommendation of the National Assembly.
Advocate Busisiwe Joyce Mkhwebane, who has undergone series of tests and investigations running for months, was first endorsed by the parliament with an overwhelming 263 votes during a debate in the National Assembly on September 7.
A total of 79 MPs voted against it and 1 MP abstained, while the Democratic Alliance (DA) opposed her nomination and accused her of being a spy on the State Security Agency’s payroll.
Mkhwebane was selected from over 60 candidates nominated by South Africans. They included judges Siraj Desai and Sharise Weiner, Prof Bongani Majola, and advocate Muvhango Lukhaimane.
Mkhwebane’s name was later recommended to President Jacob Zuma, who according to the state’s constitutions, makes the final appointment. She will be taking over from Thuli MAdonsela whose tenure in office expires this month.
Advocate Busisiwe Joyce Mkhwebane was born in the farming town Bethal in Mpumalanga and she completed her matriculation at Mkhephuli Secondary School in 1988.
Her qualifications include a B Proc and LLB, both obtained from the University of Limpopo from 1989 to 1994.
She also went to the University of Johannesburg, where she obtained her Corporate Law and Tax Law diplomas from 1997 to 2002.
She then obtained her Master of Business Leadership (MBL) degree at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in 2010.
Meanwhile, President Zuma thanked outgoing Public Protector, Advocate Thulisile Madonsela, for her services and wished Advocate Mkhwebane all the best in the execution of her new responsibilities.
Thuli Madonsela is also expected to meet with Zuma to continue her investigation on the alleged Gupta family’s alleged influence on Cabinet decisions.
Madonsela started her probe into allegations of state capture in March, after the Catholic Dominican Order asked her to investigate.
She is trying to conclude her preliminary report into state capture before leaving office on October 14. She had said she was in a race against time.