It is no surprise that parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services summoned Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to appear before it tomorrow to explain her “investigative report” into the Gupta-linked dairy farm project in the Free State.
It would seem that Mkhwebane has some explaining to do because the report appears to be little more than a half-hearted attempt to divert blame for the fiasco on to Free State civil servants, while the political principals involved, including Free State premier and now ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, are left untouched.
Also unscathed in the public protector’s report was Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who was Free State MEC for agriculture at the time and who, allegedly, presided over the payment of R220 million to the Gupta family and their associates.
At least some of that money was round-tripped back to South Africa to pay for the lavish Gupta wedding at Sun City in 2013.
It looks like another of Mkhwebane’s transparent attempts to protect not the public – which is her job – but to guard Jacob Zuma and those in his network.
She must explain her report and if she can’t do that satisfactorily, she must be fired.