Adekunle Owolabi
2 minute read
9 Nov 2017
5:40 am

Give Mkhwebane a little more time

Adekunle Owolabi

She has also managed to finalise many of the pending cases before her office – and done so in the face of a limited budget.

Public Protector of South Africa, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Jacques Nelles

ANC outcast MP Makhosi Khoza never minces her words and she didn’t this week when it came to giving her opinion on the first year in office of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

She said: “As citizens, we need to rise up, madame public protector, and say that, notwithstanding some of your accomplishments, you have broken the 11th commandment: thou shalt not betray those you are appointed to serve, the people.”

She went on: “Therefore, at the end of this, your first year, we have nothing that makes us smile as citizens and we implore you to resign.”

Mkhwebane’s tenure has been characterised by controversy from the start, given that she was, at one stage, in the employ of a state security agency.

Many of her critics expected that she had merely been deployed to the position as one of the legion of protectors of President Jacob Zuma.

She surprised and dismayed many people when, earlier this year, she apparently went far beyond her powers in recommending that the country’s constitution be changed so that the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank be drastically amended.

This was eerily in line with the building narrative, from the Zuma camp and its allies, that the banking system was a central pillar of white monopoly capital.

However, to her credit, Mkhwebane quickly admitted that she had made a mistake in the Reserve Bank suggestion.

She has also stood firmly behind the recommendations of her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela, that the allegations of state capture be the subject of a judicial commission of inquiry appointed by the chief justice.

Mkhwebane has also managed to finalise many of the pending cases before her office – and done so in the face of a limited budget.

Perhaps we should give her a little more time to prove she protects the public, and not the president.

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