Supporting Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane to become South Africa’s Public Protector was a terrible mistake, EFF leader Julius Malema has said.
“We just took a puppet from Gupta’s kitchen and said let’s give her a chance,” he explained during a media conference on Monday
The EFF threw its weight behind Mkhwebane during a parliamentary process to replace former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in 2016. It opted to ignore claims from some, including those from the DA, that Mkhwebane was a spy. The EFF, however, did say it would take her appointment on review if it felt she was not in the position for the right reasons.
During a media briefing at the EFF’s headquarters on Monday, Malema shook his head as he expressed his disappointment and lack of confidence in Mkhwebane’s ability to fulfil her role.
“We are looking at some way of rescuing that office,” said Malema. He admitted that the EFF had already started looking at ways to have Mkwehbane removed.
His comments also come amidst claims that Mkhwebane tampered with a report into Absa bank, over a complaint that it benefited from an apartheid-era bail out.
Political parties also questioned Mkhwebane’s decision not to oppose an application by President Jacob Zuma and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen in October 2016 to obtain an interdict against the Madonsela’s State of Capture report.
“We must stop calling her the public protector and start calling her a state protector,” Malema said.