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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane slugs it out on twitter with Dep. Minister of Communication Philly Mapulane

Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane.Image: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane.Image: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 16, 2022

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By Siyabonga Sithole

Deputy minister of communication Philly Mapulane says he will not be silenced by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane who recently asked him to retract his defamatory statements against her on Twitter.

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The letter to the deputy minister comes after the public protector had launched a criminal case against Ismail Abramjee whose leaked SMS sparked an outcry about the state of justice system as it had pre determined the dismissal of the Public Protector's rescission application which was later dismissed as per Abramjee's SMS.

Mapulane had retweeted a tweet by journalist, Karyn Maughan about the infamous leaked SMS that has resulted in the public protector's dismissal of her rescission application in the constitutional court.

Following this, the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane wrote a letter to deputy minister of communication, Philly Mapulane to retract his defamatory comments and apologise by Friday, 13 May, which he has not done. In the letter, Mkhwebane is accusing Mapulane of breaching his constitutional obligations as a member of parliament after he recently tweeted: " So the concourt must now be drawn into entertaining gossip by a legal analyst!! This one is clutching at straws wasting everyone's time by postponing the inevitable".

In a letter to Mapulane, Mkhwebane says his tweet contravenes the public protector act and that it amounts to a breach of his constitutional obligations and defamatory.

Mkhwebane says Mapulane is obliged to protect section 9 institutions and other organs of state.

"I Wish to bring to your attention section 9 of the Public protector Act which prohibits and discourages such truculent conduct from members of the executive. The section states as follows: No person shall insult the public protector or deputy public protector. In connection with an investigation, do anything if said investigation had been proceedings in a court of law would have constituted contempt of court," the letter continues.

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Reacting to Mkhwebane's letter, Mapulane said he will not be silenced and accused Mkhwebane of taking chances.

" This one is taking chances. Trying to silence us.never! The right to freedom of speech as enshrined by our constitution is the cornerstone of our democracy for which we fought for. No lumpen constitutional delinquent is gonna take that away from us," he said.

Mkhwebane says Mapulane's retweet creates a distortion of the facts and perpetuates unnecessary negative perception against her adding that failure to comply will result in her taking further steps against him. These she says include a criminal case of crime inura, contempt of the public Protector and application for declaratory order for breach of constitutional duties.

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