Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane celebrated her 50th birthday at the weekend. Picture: Supplied
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane celebrated her 50th birthday at the weekend. Picture: Supplied

Busisiwe Mkhwebane explains controversial guestlist for her 50th birthday bash

By SIHLE MAVUSO Time of article published Feb 10, 2020

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Durban - Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has come out to defend the presence of ANC MP Mosebenzi Zwane at her 50th birthday bash, saying there will be no conflict of interest as she undergoes a probe concerning the former mining minister.

Mkhwebane was reacting to uproar, mainly from the DA, which said it was unethical for her to invite Zwane to her birthday do. Zwane is implicated in the failed Estina Dairy Farm Project in Free State. 

Natasha Mazzone, the chief whip of the DA, slammed Mkhwebane for partying “with rogues she’s supposed to be investigating.” 

“In August last year, the PP announced that her office had undertaken a new investigation into Estina, where politicians would be held to account. This investigation, the results of which have yet to be shared, must of necessity include the machinations of Zwane. Yet he reportedly shamelessly cavorts at the birthday celebrations of the person who is investigating him,” Mazzone claimed. 

Responding to the concerns via Twitter, Mkhwebane said no conflict of interest will arise out of the weekend bash. 

“Let me take this opportunity to thank the family, friends, legal fraternity, pastors, traditional leaders and colleagues who celebrated with me the golden jubilee. The President and Deputy President were also invited and could not attend. No conflict of interest will arise. I will continue to do my work without fear or prejudice irrespective of who attended the celebration,” Mkhwebane wrote on Twitter. 

In the same tweet she attached a letter dated 5 February 2020 which came from deputy president David Mabuza’s office. Mabuza was apologising to Mkhwebane that he was not going to honour the invite to attend the bash.  

She also attached an email showing that she had invited Ramaphosa but like Mabuza, he did not attend. 

A weekend report said Mkhwebane's birthday bash was attended by the likes of advocate Dali Mpofu, Bongani Bongo, former deputy director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina and political analysts Professor Sipho Seepe and Kim Heller.

Political Bureau

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