South Africa’s beleaguered Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has told parliament that she is fighting for her professional life.Parliament is following up on accusations that since her appointment to the office of Public Protector by former president Jacob Zuma, Mkhwebane has been chasing shadows of the former leader’s political enemies.
She is, therefore, appearing before the House to respond to accusations that she has been engaged in political cases as opposed to the apolitical mandate of her job, a premise which parliament seems to agree with.
Mkhwebane, however, disputes this, saying those who are trying to remove her from her seven-year mandate job were doing so as a personal vendetta against her.
During a virtual appearance in the House on Wednesday, she demanded a judicial review on the charges before Parliament proceeds to process her removal.
Since she succeeded her storied predecessor Thuli Madonsela, Mkhwebane’s selection of cases that seemed to help uplift the tarnished image of Zuma, the man who appointed her to succeed Madonsela, has dominated her agenda.
It was the Madonsela report on Zuma’s corrupt and abuse of millions of dollars of state funds to upgrade his privately-owned Nkandla Village home that led to his downfall.
To repay Zuma for being entrusted with the office, according to Mkhwebane’s critics, the Ombudsman has been chasing political cases targeting Zuma’s political enemies since her appointment.
The result of this were court dismissals of the cases, and official complaints against her work ethics have now led her to parliament’s move to dismiss her from office – a move she alleges is a personal vendetta to remove her from office.
The case to remove Mkhwebane from office was scheduled for March but had to be postponed to Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mkhwebane is therefore applying for an interim interdict on the removal processes pending a judicial review. The hearing continues in parliament.