Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane may not be in cahoots with ANC factions and opposition parties against President Cyril Ramaphosa, but she may intentionally or unintentionally be serving their interests, an analyst has suggested.
Cape Town-based political analyst Dr Daniel Silke shied away from pointing a finger at Mkhwebane, suggesting there is a broader destabilisation of the ANC coming from individuals aligned to factions within the ruling party, or interest groups who are willing to destabilise it.
“While she is using the letter of the law, in her view, to frame these various investigations, there is a parallel process to try and open the fissures or divisions within the ANC.
“The presidency of Ramaphosa is being weakened as a result of this,” Silke said.
His comments came as serious questions were being asked about whether Mkhwebane was pursuing a political agenda aimed at undermining Ramaphosa’s “new dawn” policy, after targeting everyone who had anything to do with the president.
Mkhwebane’s latest move, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the appointment of South African Revenue Services (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter, have strengthened claims that she was trying to derail Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina (Send Me) project.
Besides Kieswetter, she has been investigating Ramaphosa’s right-hand man Pravin Gordhan and Ramaphosa himself, while seeming to ignore evidence involving allies of former president Jacob Zuma, Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane, in the Estina dairy project in Vrede.
Some say she was playing to the gallery in her investigation of Kieswetter’s appointment, as it followed a complaint by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which claimed he got the job because he was a friend of Trevor Manuel.
“Mkhwebane is not necessarily in cahoots with these factions, but she is seemingly attacking many of the outcomes of the first few months of the Ramaphosa administration. It seems, intentionally or unintentionally, she is aiding or abetting this destabilisation of the ANC,” said Silke.