Black First Land First has dedicated Women’s Day to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in defence of her detractors.
According to the party, Mkhwebane has played a leading role in protecting the vulnerable against the powerful.
“Black women have always been in the forefront of the struggle for the liberation of our people. However, because of patriarchy their contributions are never acknowledged.”
The public protector was “under attack” because of her courage to fight for the truth against “the most powerful representatives of the capitalist racist patriarchal colonial enclave we call South Africa.”
“It is this dedication and bravery that makes the Public Protector the most deserving of our acknowledgment as the embodiment of the historic struggle where South African women said No to the apartheid bully, Hendrik Verwoerd.”
The party has called on South Africans to reflect on why Mkhwebane is “persecuted” and also contribute towards her legal costs.
“The public must protect the public protector. She is our only hope in the face of the capitalist racist patriarchal colonial bullies of Stellenbosch and London.
“We must not do to the public protector what we allowed society to do to Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.”
The High Court in Pretoria on Thursday granted President Cyril Ramaphosa an interdict against having to implement remedial actions against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan contained in a report against him by Mkhwebane.
Ramaphosa will now only have to take action against Gordhan within 30 days after Gordhan’s review application has been finalised.
The remedial action partly involves a matter of early retirement payment to former Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay.
Judge Lettie Molopa-Sethosa said Ramaphosa’s actions were rational and he was not challenging the factual findings of the public protector.
“All he is saying is ‘let me await the final findings of the review’,” ruled the judge, saying it was clear that Ramaphosa was not trying to avoid compliance with Mkhwebane’s orders. She said she was satisfied that he had made out his case.
Molopa-Sethosa said Ramaphosa was obliged to act rationally and argued it was “mind-boggling” and “not understandable” that Mkhwebane had opposed his application, since she was not acting consistently in her approach to review applications and interdicts.
In her report released in May, Mkhwebane found Gordhan to have acted inappropriately during his time as finance minister when he approved an early retirement payout to Pillay.
Mkhwebane also ruled that Gordhan had violated the constitution. She recommended that Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against him within 30 days.
At the end of that period Mkhwebane wrote to Ramaphosa and accused him of being in contempt of the office of the public protector for his failure to take action against Gordhan.
Ramaphosa then filed an urgent application seeking a court declaration that he had complied with the public protector’s remedial action by noting Mkhwebane’s report and the review application by Gordhan on the matter, which was and still is before the courts.
Gordhan last Monday won an interdict against the report’s recommendations against him, until the review in court had been completed.
Ramaphosa’s lawyers argued in their case that his decision to wait for the outcome of Gordhan’s court challenge was justified by the separate court ruling last Monday by Judge Sulet Potterill.
Ramaphosa subsequently told the public protector to withdraw her opposition to his interdict application or she could be subjected to another damaging costs order.