EFF rejects calls for removal of Public Protector
28 May 2019
The EFF rejects calls for the removal of the Public Protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, from office simply because she found against Pravin Gordhan. The calls have emanated from NGO's like the Kathrada Foundation, Freedom Under Law, Outa as well as COSATU, and the SACP. We reject the calls as a direct attack on a Chapter 9 constitutional institution. They are also reactionary and steeped in the politics of personality cult as they portray Pravin Gordhan above the law and not subject to a Chapter 9 institution.
In 2016, the Constitutional Court, in the EFF vs. The Speaker of the National Assembly case, established that the Public Protector's reports and remedial action are subject only to a court review. Anyone, be they a sitting president like Zuma or Pravin Gordhan is subject to this law. When they have problems with the decisions of the Public Protector, it has become reactionary to call for a removal of whoever occupies that office when instead, they must go to court.
This provision is made possible by our law because the office, like any lower courts, is expected to err, and like lower courts, its decisions are subject to higher courts. If we remove people from these offices on these bases, then we must equally remove the provisions for review in law.
We are of the view that the Kathrada Foundation is becoming a racist organization that speaks only when Indians are touched. Of all the pronouncements by the PP, with substance, they have elected to single out Gordhan and defend him because they are racist. In addition, the foundation is engaged in an unconstitutional campaign, simply because in its view Pravin Gordhan must be untouchable. Both these practices go against the values and principles that Ahmed Kathrada stood for.
Ahmed Kathrada defended Gordhan when Zurna fired him, as well all did, but this was before the Public Protector found against him.
It is also clear that Derek Hanekom, who is in Pravin Gordhan's faction, abuses the Kathrada Foundation to make it about a body about defending Gordhan from accountability and public scrutiny by constitutional and legitimate institutions.
The patterns of the corrupt and manipulative Zuma regime are now showing in Ramaphosa's new dawn. When the Public Protector, Adv. Thuli Madonsela, found against Zuma, there was a sustained attack on the office and her person, as we see today with Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane. We therefore make no apology that like we did defending the office and decisions of the Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, we shall do so again.
The EFF has therefore instructed its lawyers to join in the legal defense of the Public Protector's report against Pravin Gordhan's review application. It is clear that this office is under attack by the Thuma Mina faction, and it must be defended by all constitution loving South Africans.
Finally, it is important to underscore that the decisions of the Public Protector are binding until they are set aside by a court of law. This means simply filing legal papers for a review of the PP's report does not set aside the report and its remedial action. We reiterate that Ramaphosa must not appoint Gordhan into the cabinet. The Public Protector's remedial actions are no mere decisions; they are critical and must be respected.
Issued by Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, National Spokesperson, EFF, 28 May 2019