Thuli/Busisiwe Public Spat: ANCWL Warns Thuli Madonsela To Lay Off Mkhwebane


Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has once again been tongue-lashed by the women’s wing of the ruling African National Congress (ANCWL) who asked her to accept that her tenure in office is over.

Disappointed by the continuous public spat between the Thuli and her successor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the ANCWL told Thuli on Monday to refrain from attacking Mkhwebane and her job as the new public Protector.

The lash on Thuli came after the league read about a “disappointing attack” on current Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane that was published in Sunday Independent. The news site reported that Madonsela had urged President Jacob Zuma to prove he did not have an influence on the appointment of Mkhwebane.

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In a statement, the league’s secretary-general, Meokgo Matuba, said the allegations were “a direct attack” on parliament’s ad hoc committee that had been established last year to “shortlist‚ interview and recommend a suitable candidate for the position of the public protector”.

“These allegations portray the ad hoc committee as nothing but a rubber-stamping committee of decisions taken outside the committee. The process of appointing the public protector was transparent and fair. All political parties except the friends of Israel – a nest of some with racist tendencies‚ the Democratic Alliance – supported the appointment of advocate Mkhwebane as a suitable candidate,” she said.

According to the league, Madonsela had undermined the integrity of parliament, Zuma, and Mkhwebane by “casting aspersions about the appointment of Mkhwebane. She has also undermined the intelligence of South Africans who “watched the transparent and fair live interviews of the candidates”.

“Advocate Thuli Madonsela must accept that her term as a public protector came to an end after a seven-year term and she must focus on her new role at University of Stellenbosch under the chancellorship of Johann Rupert‚” Matuba said, referencing South African billionaire businessman Rupert, who the ANCWL has previously criticised as being part of a cabal of “white-monopoly capitalists” controlling the country’s economic resources.

The former public protector Thuli Madonsela is expected to take up a chair in social justice at the institution’s law faculty in 2018 after a year-long sabbatical in the US.

Last week, she lashed out at Mkhwebane over what she referred to as “false news” about her relationship with her.

In a paper claim, amongst other things, Madonsela denied that she would have to pay back nearly R500 000 for her son allegedly crashing a state-provided vehicle, despite Mkhwebane saying she would have to do so.

She also said that the two are not working together and spoke about a strained relationship between the two saying Mkhwebane refused to be part of the handover process and sent “angry and dismissive” emails.

Mkhwebane, on the other hand, said on Monday, that the docking of Madonsela’s gratuity after her term ended in October last year was not her business: “I won’t comment too much on that … because that is not part of what I have been doing as a public protector.”

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Meanwhile, Matuba praised Mkhwebane, saying she had “acted in the good spirit of governance by ensuring that those who are liable for the damages of the state vehicle which was allocated to her predecessor pay for the damages”.

That state vehicle was allegedly damaged by the predecessor’s son who was not authorised to drive a state vehicle irrespective of the fact that the vehicle was under his mother’s custody, she said.

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