Mkhwebane writes to Ramaphosa to request him to rein in Mbalula

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Twitter/@EsethuOnDuty

The public protector says the minister made false and contemptuous remarks about her in his widely shared tweets and subsequent interviews.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request him to rein in Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula “who in a widely shared tweet and subsequent media interviews” on Monday “made false and contemptuous remarks about her”.

This after Mbalula on Monday caused a storm on Twitter with a series of tweets slamming the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA).

Mbalula’s tweets came after the MKMVA’s calls for Mbalula to be arrested for being responsible for the “collapse” of the country’s train services and stations.

In one of his now-deleted tweets, Mbalula wrote: “Am not afraid of them Jacob Zuma, Karl Niehaus, Kebby Maphatsoe, Busiwe Mkhwebane and Ace Magashule.”

Here is a screenshot of the tweet:

A screenshot of some of the now-deleted tweets Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula posted on Monday, 12 October 2020.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Mkhwebane said she wrote to the president on Wednesday requesting that he, “as head of the executive”,  should rein in Mbalula.

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“Ministers take an oath to respect and uphold the Constitution. This includes s181(3) of the Constitution in terms of which other organs of state must assist and protect the public protector to ensure the office’s independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness.”

Meanwhile, in 2018, Mkhwebane made a finding against Mbalula regarding his 2016 family holiday to Dubai.

Mkhwebane found that during his tenure as sports minister, Mbalula had been irresponsible and had breached the executive ethics code for cabinet members with conduct that was “grossly at odds” with the provisions of the constitution.

According to reports in 2017, Mbalula’s family holiday was allegedly partly paid for by a sporting goods supplier, with at least R300 000 and possibly as much as R680 000 paid by the company for the trip.

READ MORE: Public protector finds ‘grossly irresponsible’ Fikile Mbalula breached ethics code

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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