Public Protector inquiry nothing but opportunistic witch-hunt
11 October 2017
The African National Congress has noted with grave concern the intention of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services to institute an inquiry into the Public Protector’s fitness to hold office. The ANC views this intended inquiry in a very dim light believing it to be an opportunist exercise requested by the opposition for political expediency. Disagreement or discomfort with the investigations and outcomes of investigations of the Public Protector does not render the incumbent unfit for office, it simply means the aggrieved party does not agree and should therefore seek other remedies, including judicial review of the Public Protector’s rulings, as provided for in our legislation.
The Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was appointed to her current position almost a year to the date following an exhaustive and thoroughgoing process by Parliament, which declared her a “fit and proper person to hold such office”. During her tenure, she has chosen to focus her attention on serving the masses of our people rather than solely conducting Hollywood style investigations. Further, she has dared to question the mandate of the Reserve Bank and called upon ABSA, successor to apartheid era bank Bankorp to repay monies lent to them by the Reserve Bank. She has clearly rattled cages and unsettled entrenched interests.
The Constitution of the Republic is instructive that the Public Protector may only be removed from office on the grounds of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence. Advocate Mkhwebane falls into none of these categories, instead she has been at the receiving end of a concerted campaign to discredit her since her appointment almost a year ago. The proposed inquiry is merely a witch-hunt designed by the opposition to intimidate her into silence and bend her to their warped views on what constitutes the work of the Public Protector.
Issued by Zizi Kodwa, National Spokesperson, ANC, 11 October 2017