Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu has written a column in Sunday’s edition of City Press suggesting that the office of the public protector is “under siege” and calling on “all citizens” to join the party’s campaign to protect it.
According to Shivambu, there are parallels between the way current public protector Busisiswe Mkhwebane and her predecessor Thuli Madonsela are being treated.
“Madonsela was attacked and undermined by members of cabinet, MPs and journalist to protect a president who was a constitutional delinquent,” he writes.
He says the EFF defended her because it was their duty to do so due to their oath of office and must now do so again in the case of Mkhwebane.
Shivambu quotes Karl Marx, who said “history repeats itself, first as a tragedy and the second time as a farce”, and says that the current situation is indeed such a farce.
All “misinformation campaigns” directed against Mkhwebane “must be rejected”, according to Shivambu.
Shivambu may be making parallels between the way Madonsela was treated and Mkhwebane’s treatment currently, but this past week he appeared to side with the current public protector when a disagreement between her and her predecessor took place.
READ MORE: Shivambu defends Mkhwebane against Madonsela
Shivambu took to Twitter and told Madonsela to “relax” and allow Mkhwebane to do her job after the former accused the latter of “wrongfully” using her name.
Madonsela had responded to claims made by Mkhwebane that she too used to announce section 7(9) notices and provisional reports.
But Madonsela countered that the current public protector had taken to social media to publicly disclose that such a notice had been served, something she says her office would never have done as these matters are meant to be “confidential”.
Madonsela said the social media announcement was “unprecedented”.
Shivambu, however, accused the former public protector of meddling in the affairs of the current one.
“She did her job, had some of her case overturned by courts, released some reports for political motives, and we bid her farewell. Please don’t force us to change our opinions about you,” he tweeted.
In her defence, Madonsela told Shivambu that the truth about her office had to be told.
“But my name should not be invoked wrongly. If it is, I not only have a right but a responsibility to tell the truth. I never announced that I’d issued a section 7(9) because that’s prejudicial. This was so right until the end when I issued one against the president on state capture,” she said.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)