The mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mzwandile Masina has come out in defence of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, saying she is “under attack from everyone”.
While addressing the residents of Tembisa and its neighboring areas during the Public Protector annual stakeholder roadshow today, the mayor said “We know that the previous Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was praised by almost everyone, by all civic society, by all organisations, by government officials by politicians by everyone but what is very clear is that the Public Protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwenane, is under attack from everyone.”
Masina said the prublic protector should be allowed to do her work; He also said when President Cyril Ramaphosa was asked by the Public Protector about the CR17 campaign, he should “humble” himself and say, “No, Public Protector, it was political work”, instead of going to court and saying she was trampling on his rights.
In the quest to drive out his point, Masina asked “Where must the Public Protector go if her findings are reviewed otherwise by the courts? Why must the courts have the final say in South Africa?” It’s a critical question we have to ask, so that we then say how do we move South Africa forward.
While addressing the media after the conclusion of the road show, Mkhwebane said that she believed that she was being attacked. She said “I am under attack and it is a conditional institution. I am doing my work. I am trying to protect the people. I don’t think it is fair to be treated the way I am treated.” Stating furthert, she said “I’m not going around and saying to people, lodge a complaint. Even with reports, I don’t go around and instigate. There are investigators who do the work and when they are done, they then summarise their evidence. “I don’t go around and say ‘this one must be found to have committed any misconduct.”
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has lost a series of court battles challenging some of the reports released by her office and some involve cost orders in which she was found personally liable for some of the legal costs. Last week, the Gauteng High Court in the Pretoria ruled that she must pay costs in a case relating to her investigation into the multimillion-rand Estina dairy farm scandal.
Mkhwebane has also been labelled “dishonest” by the Constitutional Court.