Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will not resign. Picture: ANA
DURBAN - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is not backing down and refuses to heed calls for her resignation, according to the Huffington Post.

While being interviewed on SABC3, Mkhwebane said that she would remain as the Public Protector until the end of her term in 2023.

She also called the criticism about her reports being soft as false.

Mkhwebane has been under fire for the way that she handled the Absa/CIEX report and Estina dairy farm issue.

In her interview, the Public Protector said that most of her reports were about "bread and butter matters", and that people did not read those reports.

She has maintained that she is independent and that she will not resign, although there have been threats to her independence, like the recent cost award against her in the Absa case.

The Public Protector has pointed out the Nelson Mandela funeral case as an example of where her office is making an impact.

Her report on the Mandela funeral discovered that officials had stolen funds that were reserved for Nelson Mandela's funeral.

The Pretoria High Court in the Absa CIEX case set aside Mkhwebane's recommendations for remedial action last week. The Public Protector recommended that Absa pay back the state for R1,1 billion for a loan that was illegally granted to the bank's predecessor by the apartheid government.

The court found that the Public Protector had acted unjustly and she reached above her legal powers and went against provisions of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act according to eNCA.

The court also found that she did not completely understand her constitutional duty to be unbiased and to carry out her functions without fear, favour or prejudice by not informing the court of meetings that she had with the Presidency about the Absa matter.

OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) is the most recent body to call for Mkhwebane to removed from the post of Public Protector.

Eyewitness News reported that OUTA will write to the speaker of Parliament to call for a debate on Mkhwebane's adequacy for office.

On Sunday, she said that accusations that her report was influenced by her alleged closeness with the former President Jacob Zuma were false.

Mkhwebane is also in hot water for the way that she handled the Estina dairy farm complaint where she recommended that action against local politicians be taken but did not see the bigger state capture claims that involved the Gupta family.

However, the Public Protector said that accusations against the Guptas in that issue only emerged when her report was almost complete.

In the original complaint, she was also requested not to look into ministers who were allegedly involved in state capture said Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane also said that some of the matters connected to state capture should be handled by the state capture commission of inquiry.

She took the opportunity to clarify that she was underfunded which was something that the previous Public Protector complained about.



- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE