The man who filed perjury charges against public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for allegedly writing to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to suspend her has denied pursuing a political agenda against her. Mkhwebane's account of President Cyril RAMAPHOSA and Bosasa's alleged improper acceptance of a 500,000 rupee donation during the successful ANC presidential campaign is controversial because of its findings and the alleged nature of the investigation and the political context in which it was written. Political parties such as the Democratic Alliance and the People's Congress have called for her ouster as a public protector, while civil-society organizations such as COSATU, the Anti-Tax Abuse Organization, have called for her suitability for office to be reviewed.
ANC Leader Gwede Mantashe said last month that Mkhwebane was playing a political role after a senior official at the Communist Party called him a contract killer. ANC lawmaker Supra Mahumapelo said the party would not support a motion to remove Mr. Webane. Public Defender Busisiwe Mkhweane denied allegations that he threatened to withdraw from South African hosting of the African Ombudsman Conference hosted by his predecessor Thuli Madonsela after he was removed from office by a former chief of staff.
At an event in Pretoria on Thursday night to celebrate the first clean sweep by the Office of Public Protector in 25 years, Mkhwebane vowed to continue her work without fear or favor despite threats, arrest threats, and charges of perjury. Lawyer Busisiwe Mkh Webane's testimony, which was reportedly passed on to seven other people in the work environment during the last quarter of completion, violated media guidelines, adding that her office would not stop exercising its power to play off its capabilities and political decisions.
The African National Congress (ANC) accuses public prosecutor Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane of taking a political position following the publication of its latest report, accusing Prime Minister and party in Eastern Cape Province of profiting from the irregular use of public funds just weeks before local elections, which are fought in a factional war. The Eastern Cape ANC has reacted to the scathing Public Protectors report, but the reaction seems to imply that their publication of the report was politically motivated. Given that all parties were involved, Mr. Webane said the ANC was concerned about the contents of the report, which contained public money to unjustified beneficiaries.
In a statement released Friday, Mkhwebane's office said that the public defender had cooperated fully with the court and believed that Hoffman's request for her suspension was typical of him being part of a smear campaign aimed at removing her. The ruling Thursday was the third high-profile defeat for civil rights activist Busisiwe Mkhitaryan in as many weeks and undermines the credibility of their investigations, including one against South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. The High Court ruled against Mr. Webane and overturned its findings after representatives of the Bapo and Ba Mogale communities found there were several notable flaws in the methodology used to produce the report.
Samuel and others have accused Mkhwebane of destroying the internal peer review mechanism at the Office of the Public Protector, which gave him authority to interfere with reports from provincial offices. Another separate investigation also found that Ramaphosa neludged the parliament in 2017 about contributions to his campaign to lead the ruling party of the African National Congress.
After 11 years in Home Affairs, including a four-year secondment to China, Mkhwebane worked 107 days as an analyst at SSA on 30-day weekends before taking up his post as public protector on October 15, 2016. Kekana was the only investigator in the Reserve Bank of SABA case when Mkhitaryan took office. Since taking office, he says he has published more than 100 reports and dealt with more than 34,000 complaints.
But Mkhwebane has also taken on high-profile cases such as his investigation of an apartheid-era bank bailout, a central bank donation to Ramaphosa's campaign for the ANC leader in 2017, and an investigative unit set up by Gordhan during his time as a tax commissioner. All of which ended up in court.
The recent opinion on the dismissal of lawyer Busisiwe Mkhwebane from the office of public protector based on allegations about her suitability for office was drafted at the end of a rule of law procedure to examine her suitability for office, and her final dismissal was due to determined conduct. The full bench at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria said that Mr. Webb showed a "deep-seated inability and refusal to process the facts as logically and fairly as possible when it dealt with President Cyril Ramaphosa's arguments against her for reporting on his campaign donation in 2017. Her predecessor's reports were criticized at the time, and the Constitutional Court's order was changed from a remedy to the status of a supreme court order, she added.
The president's supporters who target Ramaphosa and Gordhan claim that Mkhwebane is acting as a proxy for a faction of the ruling African National Congress party allied with former President Jacob Zuma that opposes Ramaphosa's agenda. Political analysts warn that the power of Mubarak's office which played a key role in bringing Zuma under control could be used to settle political scores. One danger, analysts say, is that Mubarak's ties to the president and his allies are questionable and the investigation could take months to fight in court.
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