It is not the mandate of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to meddle in political affairs, says the writer. File picture: Bongani Shilubane
In la-la land anything is possible, even changing the constitution. But SA is not la-la land and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane must remember her mandate.

Imagine living in Oprah-land. Look under your chair, there’s an envelope. When you open it, you see, written on the piece of paper: “You get to change the constitution. You get to change the constitution. You get to change the constitution. You all get to change it.”

I know it seems silly, but in the la-la land we live in, anything is possible.

For some time there have been calls for Absa Bank to be probed by the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

She found that the government and the South African Reserve Bank failed to uphold their constitutional duties by not acting on the Ciex report that public funds for an apartheid-era bailout of Absa be recovered.

Her three main findings were: The government and the Reserve Bank improperly failed to recover R3.2 billion from Absa as a result of an “illegal gift” given to Absa between 1986 and 1995; the public was prejudiced by the conduct of the government and the Reserve Bank because of the failure to recover the “gift” despite spending £600 000 for services “which were used”; and the government “improperly failed” to implement the Ciex report after commissioning and paying for it.

I think a round of applause is in order right now.

However, Busi just couldn’t let it go. She had to go one step further and she found that the mandate of the Reserve Bank should change, from targeting inflation as it does now, to promoting economic growth. A finding that the person who lodged the original complaint did not ask for.

She has proposed a constitutional amendment. I’m sorry, but I’m failing to see the link here.

Why would she think it is appropriate for the Public Protector to instruct Parliament to change the constitution? It seems extremely peculiar and beyond the mandate of the office.

What must be remembered is that only Parliament can change the constitution and only by a two-thirds majority.

Now rewind to the end of March; in the early hours of the morning, when President Jacob Zuma made sure his most loyal and devoted men were either given a position or those already holding ministerial positions had theirs cemented.

In just a few months a very important conference is going to be taking place.

Now let’s go back to Oprah-land. I know this is as far-fetched as Oprah even giving me the time of day; however, just imagine at the 11th hour before this conference the constitution gets changed and allows the president to extend his term in office.

The perfect cabinet would be: President: Jacob Zuma; Deputy President: Nkosazana Zuma; Minister of Finance: Ajay Gupta; Minister of Energy Affairs: Atul, Rajesh “Tony” Gupta; Minister of Mineral Affairs: Duduzane Zuma; Minister of Land Reform: Hlaudi Motsoeneng; then to keep them all above the law the justice portfolio can be shared between Malusi Gigaba, Des van Rooyen and Fikile Mbalula.

But fortunately we don’t live in Oprah-land, we live in reality.

However, it is time for Busi to step up now and show us the balls her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela, showed.

She, however, needs to stick to her mandate and not become involved in politics. After all, she isn’t a politician.

It is time for Busi to show us all why she was actually appointed into that position and that she isn’t just another puppet in Oprah-land.

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