Cabinet spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi has criticised the DA’s decision to oppose the nomination of Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane for public protector. In an interview on ANN7 on Tuesday, Manyi said the party was only doing this to “make its presence felt” and using freedom of speech to advance its “racist approach tendencies”.
“A lot of people’s reputations get tarnished by this so-called freedom of speech,” he said.
Manyi said he did not understand the party’s sudden concern when the interviews were transparent, and “the whole country was watching”.
The only problem the DA has with the nomination is that Mkhwebane is an African woman, as the party has a problem with competent Africans, he claimed.
“DA is a party with a very low value system. They don’t have respect for this country. Racist approach tendencies of the DA must be condemned on the strongest terms.”
At a press conference on Tuesday, the DA announced its intention to oppose Mkhwebane’s nomination, saying her appointment would be unreasonable, as it felt she was not the best candidate for the position and was “illogically preferred” over other qualifying candidates.
“We hold the view that Judge Sharise Weiner had the best interview, but that Professor Majola is the best candidate” in terms of experience and quality of their interviews, the party said.
The DA listed the following reasons for its decision:
- She has little or no practical experience to justify such an appointment when compared with the experience of the other four candidates;
- She was employed by Home Affairs as a director (salary level approximately R1 million annually) immediately prior to this process being initiated;
- She changed employment around June 2016, and went to State Security Agency (SSA) as an analyst;
- When asked in the interview why she had changed jobs for what is ostensibly a demotion, her reply was that she “was passionate about the Constitution”. While this is a noble value to hold, it alone does not make her eligible for the position or separate her from the other more qualified candidates.
The party said it also found it suspicious that Mkhwebane already indicated she wanted to have a more “friendly relationship with government”.
While this doesn’t make Mkhwebane the worst candidate, it does not make her the best either, says the party.
Parliament will hold a debate on the public protector nomination today.