"I have given enough time to do that [to withdraw and apologise] and they have not done it, so indeed now I'm seriously considering [and] I will be taking legal action on that matter. This matter impacts on the integrity of this institution. I don't think this institution would love to be led by a spy," Mkhwebane said at a media briefing at Public Protector House in Pretoria.
"The allegations which have been made... that I was a spy when I was in China. I said I was giving them the opportunity to withdraw that and apologise. So within my 100 days [at the helm of the Public Protector office], it was too early for me." Mkhwebane said she does her work without fear or favour.
"I think political parties decided to vote for me because of my performance and of what I did. I am still committed to do my work without fear or favour," she said.
Regarding her opening of a criminal case with the police over former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's leaking of an audio interview with President Jacob Zuma during her state capture investigation, Mkhwebane said she was only doing her job.
"We wanted the police to investigate when those audios leaked [and] they were taken to eNCA or whoever after the term of Advocate Madonsela. The issue of when was that audio released is a question which needs to be investigated," she said.
"It's about making sure that we address these issues of leaks and we know that the integrity of this office is maintained." Mkhwebane reportedly laid the charges at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria following a complaint from Zuma.