Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) is repulsed by what is clearly the continued lack of objectivity by Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane in executing her role as the trusted and competent Public Protector. It appears that Adv. Mkhwebane is using this important Chapter 9 institution as a cover for what amounts to subterfuge, in a high-stakes game of state capture. Accordingly, BLSA believes Adv. Mkhwebane is not fit to hold office as Public Protector. It is now time for the parliamentary process to commence, without delay, pursuant to her removal from the vitally important constitutionally created institution.
Adv. Mkhwebane has demonstrated time and again that she is neither capable of performing her role in the office of the Public Protector nor safeguarding the institution from abuse. The wide opprobrium generated by the timing of her report – less than 48 hours after Mr Gordhan’s submission – is well deserved. It came at a time when Adv. Mkhwebane’s political shenanigans are on full display. BLSA declares that we have had enough of Adv. Mkhwebane’ politicking. To us, she has crossed a red line.
It is a matter of public record that not less than three of her reports have been set aside by reputable courts, not least an esteemed North Gauteng High Court’s scathing ruling to dispense with the remedial action in Mkhwebane’s report. BLSA has lost trust in her as an individual and public servant. The court cases she lost have served to confirm her egregious character when they pronounced her to have acted in an incompetent manner by, among other things, getting the law and the facts calamitously wrong.
Adv. Mkhwebane is a clear and present danger to our democracy. This is no more apparent than from a paragraph in the court ruling which points to, “either ineptitude or gross negligence in the execution of her duties.” It seems clear enough now that Adv. Mkhwebane believes in alternative facts and has a propensity to deliberately mislead the courts and the public to protect powerful, dangerous factions in our country.
We are of the view that Adv. Mkhwebane can never be entrusted to safeguard our democracy and the mammoth task of protecting the public, the people of South Africa, from abuse. The Office of the Public Protector is too important to be captured by a person of questionable repute. It is certainly too important to be compromised by the ruinous factionalism that has torn our country apart over the past decade.
As momentum builds towards the opening of the 6th Parliament of the Republic of South Africa and the mammoth task of revitalising our state institutions gets underway, BLSA is confident that the majority of the 400-strong parliamentarians would do well to urgently commence with the process of removing Adv. Mkhwebane from this critical institution. Law-abiding South Africans can no longer afford to sit back. Every day that passes under Adv. Mkhwebane’s watch moves our country closer to institutional failure and chaos