Parliament, Thursday, 23 March 2023 – The Committee for Section 194 Enquiry into Public Protector (PP) Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office today heard further allegations of victimization from Adv Mkhwebane which she claims resulted from her only doing her work. She also said that the fact that the remedial action of the Public Protector is binding is grounds for professional jealously from judges.

Adv Mkhwebane further blamed the media for pushing a particular narrative. She said the “mainstream media perpetuate the narrative” that she is incompetent and does not know the law leading to manufactured consent. “Now it’s an issue you can't touch the president. It makes me feel that I'm being persecuted for doing my work.” She said that it is unfortunate that her “mistakes are magnified”.

Adv Mkhwebane said she is unclear as to why she is being charged for misapplying the law, as her reports are subject to judicial review. She compared it to decisions of judges that are overturned on appeal but are yet they are not facing impeachment.

Her money-laundering finding were based on the fact that there was a movement of money between the CR17 accounts. Today she however conceded that she used the wrong law to make prima facie money-laundering findings against Pres Cyril Ramaphosa.

Adv Dali Mpofu, SC, also dealt extensively with the court ruling that found Adv Mkhwebane directed the National Director of Public Prosecutions on how she should investigate the Bosasa/CR17 matter. “I think the way the remedial action was crafted, it was very clear that this matter of money laundering doesn't fall within my mandate, it is a criminal act.” She repeated several times that the Public Protector Act allows her to refer a matter to the National Prosecuting Authority, and claimed that is what she did. “I did not at all say to them you must do this, how they must do it,” she emphasized. She went on to say that she totally disagreed with this finding of Judge President Dunstan Mlambo.

Regarding an alleged change of the wording the Executive Ethics Code, she denied have changed the wording in order to find Pres Ramaphosa guilty. The committee previously heard that in a draft of the report, Mr Rodney Mataboge, chief investigator at the office of Public Protector South Africa, used the correct wording of the Code. It was then changed upon Adv Mkhwebane’s instruction.

Adv Mkhwebane was also asked to address allegations that she “invented” the words of the Executive Ethics Code. She responded by saying: “I never did that. Such an accusation is very, very wrong”. She claimed to have honestly applied the code, based on the fact that it has been the practice in the institution that this version of the code is to be used and it was used by her predecessor.

Committee Chairperson, Mr Qubudile Dyantyi, said the committee will continue with its hearings tomorrow. The committee was established on 16 March 2021 to conduct a constitutional inquiry into the PP’s fitness to hold office and is now expected to conclude its work towards the end of May 2023. Committee documents can be found at Committee for Section 194 Enquiry - Parliament of South Africa


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