It is safe to say that EFF leader Julius Malema might have had the inkling that PP Busisiwe Mkhwebane belongs to the Gupta cabal. And this has played out sooner than he expected.
On his own, Malema has arrived at the conclusion that the PP Busisiwe shares a spot with some other South Africans, named as Guptas’ puppets.
Unlike the Democratic Alliance (DA), the EFF was hell-bent on Mkhwebane succeeding Madonsela during series of parliamentary processes held in 2016. Another group that propped up her emergence was the ANC.
Sadly, the fighters are presently regretting why they pushed Busisiwe to the prestigious post and have promised to devise a means of rescuing the office of the Public Protector from the hands of the ‘puppet’.
During a media briefing at the EFF’s headquarters on Monday, Malema expressed his disappointment and lack of confidence in Mkhwebane’s ability to fulfil her mandate. He was reacting to reports that Mkhwebane tampered with a report into Absa bank, over a complaint that it benefited from an apartheid-era bail out.
There are even strong indications that the party has started keeping its nose to the grindstone on how to oust the embattled Protector.
Malema told reporters: “We just took a puppet from Gupta’s kitchen and said let’s give her a chance. We are looking at some way of rescuing that office. The EFF has already started looking at ways to have Mkwehbane removed.”
The office of the Public Protector has often been likened to a jewel in the crown of the country’s constitution, basically, because it is one of the offices that provides the platform for the worries and plights of the public to be addressed.
Of course, this explains why strict measures are often put in place before and during selection processes – this is in addition to other vital requirements of any would-be officeholder.
In her few months in office, PP Busisiwe has caused stirs – much more than anticipated – in fact, it all began during her selection process. At the time, she was caught in an identity brawl with the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Despite putting up a brilliant and impressive performance when she stood before Parliament during her interview, the DA insisted that she was unfit for the post because she was “illogically” preferred over others.
Her chance of succeeding Madonsela was almost ruined by the DA which accused her of acting as a spy when she spent time in China as an “immigration officer” from 2010. But she, at last, sailed through.
Malema weighed in at the time and pleaded with South Africans to give Busisiwe enough time to prove to the country that she is not a pro-Zuma protector, as alleged by the blue block and some other critics.
“I think we should give her a chance. She is inheriting an institution, and even if she made commitments to [President Jacob] Zuma and friends that she will do work for them in the PP office, she is going to be exposed,” he said at the time.
Since she took over the office, Busisiwe has raised dust starting from her decision not to oppose President Zuma’s interdict against the release of the state capture report to emphasising that an investigation into the state capture will not be her priority.
Last year, she allegedly removed some of Madonsela’s team members, insisting that she needs her own team. PP Busisiwe has also crossed swords with her predecessor, EFF’s Ndlozi, DA leader Mmusi Maimane, former ANC MP V. Mentor, but has maintained a good relationship with President Zuma, ANCYL and a handful of others.
Well, let’s wait and see how Malema will go about this one. After all, Zuma’s Nkandla case (initiated by the fighters) started this way.
PP Busisiwe Mkhwebane obtained a B.Proc and LLB from the University of the North and a Diploma in Corporate Law and a Higher Diploma in Tax Law from the University of Johannesburg.
She previously served in the Public Protector’s office as a senior investigator between 1998 and 2005 before she left to join Home Affairs.
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