Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is tainted and should resign, says DA
Johannesburg - The DA says Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane should resign as she is "tainted and compromised".
The party's interim leader John Steenhuisen said Tuesday's High Court ruling, in which the court set aside Mkhwebane's report on the CR17 campaign financing, was yet another reason that proved that Mkhwebane was not fit for office.
The North Gauteng High Court ruled that Mkhwebane's report was unlawful and should be set aside. The report found that Ramaphosa had misled Parliament on the R500 000 donation his campaign received in the ANC's 2017 presidential race.
The full bench of the court had scathing remarks about Mkhwebane's handling of the investigation. It said she relied on the wrong sections of the law and it was reckless when she concluded that there was money laundering in Ramaphosa's campaign that warranted an investigation by the national prosecuting authority (NPA).
The judges also said Mkhwebane had no jurisdiction to investigate Ramaphosa's campaign financing as that fell outside her mandate. She had also failed to grasp the NPA's prosecutorial independence when she demanded that the unit investigate the money laundering aspect of her findings.
She was slapped with a cost order for her actions.
Steenhuisen said this ruling should put an end to Mkhwebane's career.
"Yet again, the courts have found Mkhwebane to be unable to perform her responsibilities in a competent, fair and unbiased manner. We hope this brings to an end her disastrous chapter in office," Steenhuisen said.
The DA has put forward a motion which has led to the greenlight by Speaker Thandi Modise for a panel to be established which will investigate Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office. The Public Protector will be challenging this panel's establishment in court next month.
"We hope this latest court finding will be the evidence needed to swing the balance of opinion and pressure in favour of removing her. Our motion led to the Speaker’s commitment to appoint an independent panel to assess the evidence against her. If the panel finds there is a prima facie case for misconduct or incompetence, then an ad hoc committee of parliament will be established to consider her removal," Steenhuisen said.
"Mkhwebane should now do the honourable thing and resign. She is now so tainted and deeply compromised that any of her future findings will be questioned."
Steenhuisen said Mkhwebane's misguided approach to investigating Ramaphosa's finances had let the president off the hook. He said Ramaphosa still had questions to answer related to the funds received by his son, Andile.IOL