EFF slams Parliament over Mkhwebane

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

Published Apr 3, 2024


The EFF has slammed Parliament over its refusal to allow its member of Parliament, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to take part in the interview process for the new deputy public protector.

This week, the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services stopped its process to select the next deputy public protector (DPP) after a legal opinion found Mkhwebane had failed to declare a conflict of interest with two of the candidates.

According to media reports, the committee was expected to select the DPP when Parliament’s legal adviser, Zingisa Zenani, tabled the findings of her report into Mkhwebane’s alleged conflict of interest.

Members of the committee said Mkhwebane should have declared upfront her relationship with the two candidates, with Zenani indicating that Mkhwebane failed to declare that one candidate, Shadrack Tebeile, was representing her in her impeachment case currently at the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

However, the EFF has slammed Parliament for its ‘partisan’ and ‘biased’ legal opinion of the legal services unit in Parliament.

“The EFF rejects the partisan and biased legal opinion of the legal services unit of Parliament, which seeks to provide legal cover to the concerted campaign of excluding the EFF MP from performing their duties in Parliament. The opinion in question recommends that advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the former public protector, must recuse herself from the interview process for the new DPP due to an alleged conflict of interest.”

The EFF said it rejects the belief that Mkhwebane holds grudges against some of the candidates on the list whom she fired during her tenure as public protector.

“Their argument is that during her tenure as PP, advocate Mkhwebane fired one of the candidates for the position of deputy PP, and that secondly, one of the candidates is currently representing her on a pro bono basis at the African Court for Human Rights.

“In relation to the former, advocate Mkhwebane was performing her duties as PP, and there is nothing to suggest that she at any stage had any personal grudges against the person she fired. Even as the dismissal was overturned by the labour court, it could never be argued that advocate Mkhwebane had fired the candidate in bad faith,” the EFF said.