Editorials 13.6.2018 08:40 am

Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s smoke mirrors her inability

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during a press briefing held at her offices, 4 December 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during a press briefing held at her offices, 4 December 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Zille probe looks like cynical opportunism by Mkhwebane, aimed at deflecting criticism from the way she has handled her office.

When Busisiwe Mkhwebane was appointed public protector, a columnist on The Citizen said her era would bring “seven years of famine”, following the seven years of metaphorical feasting under her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela.

Those words were prescient, as Mkhwebane has continued to prove that she is focused more on protecting ANC politicians than doing her primary job: exposing government graft.

While she seemed reluctant to initiate investigations into former President Jacob Zuma and his cabal, she showed an incredible turn of speed in not only investigating Western Cape Premier Helen Zille – for violating the executive government code by posting Tweets on colonialism and why it was not all bad – but by issuing a finding in near-record time.

There are many who believe Mkhwebane exceeded her mandate in the Zille probe and, no doubt, the finding will be tested in court.

There are more pressing matters with which the office of the public protector could have busied itself, however. Wherever you look in this country there is corruption – much of it in the corridors of power.

This investigation looks like cynical opportunism by Mkhwebane, aimed at deflecting criticism from the way she has handled her office.

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