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Impeached Busisiwe Mkhwebane joins EFF ‘to protect the poor and marginalised’ (NB Not satire)

Impeached Busisiwe Mkhwebane joins EFF ‘to protect the poor and marginalised’ (NB Not satire)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Photo: Gallo Images / Phill Magakoe)

Barely a month after she was removed from office, impeached Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has joined the EFF, saying the party will allow her to ‘continue to fight and protect South Africans’

A month after being voted out as Public Protector on the grounds of misconduct and incompetence by Parliament, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has ventured into politics, declaring the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) her political home.

Mkhwebane became SA’s first public office-bearer to face an impeachment inquiry resulting in her removal from office after 318 of 400 MPs voted in favour of it, while 43 voted against it and one MP abstained.

The EFF, African Transformation Movement, United Democratic Movement, Pan-Africanist Congress, African Independent Congress and Al Jama-ah opposed Mkhwebane’s removal from office.

The EFF took it a step further, saying the Section 194 committee report against Mkhwebane was a flagrant abuse of the parliamentary majority and threatened to take it on judicial review.

On Monday, during a media briefing in Kwaggafontein in Mpumalanga, Mkhwebane said she had joined the EFF to continue fighting for the marginalised and holding the government to account.

“I could relate with the seven cardinal pillars of the EFF; as a Public Protector, I always said I will protect the poor and the marginalised. This is giving me an opportunity to continue to do that.”

Mkhwebane is the second high-ranking official to join the Red Berets in recent months. In June, former government communications boss Mzwanele Manyi was parachuted into Parliament to serve as an MP just a month after joining the party. Speculation is rife that Mkhwebane could follow the same trajectory.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Long road to impeachment: Mkhwebane is guilty as charged – here’s a breakdown of the damning findings

In taking up her EFF membership, Mkhwebane read from the party’s declaration form: “I understand that I am not entitled to any position or deployment. I will participate in the life of the Economic Freedom Fighters to strive towards total emancipation of South Africa, Africa and the oppressed of the world and do so as a loyal, active and disciplined freedom fighter.”

Her track record, however, leaves much to be desired. In July, the Section 194 inquiry committee upheld four counts against her, including victimising staff, misconduct, and incompetence in three investigations — into the Gutpa-linked Vrede Dairy Farm, the Bosasa funding of Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign for ANC president, and the Bankorp/Absa bailout.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Former Public Protector Mkhwebane’s wild ride – from purging ‘demonic forces’ to the ‘trivial matter’ of perjury charges

Probed by journalists on her relationship with the ANC, Mkhwebane said she was never aligned with the ruling party during her almost seven-year tenure as Public Protector.

“I was never a member of the ANC. I was a Public Protector for seven years and as a Public Protector, you should be non-partisan, you should not belong to any political party. This is my first political home and I am here to learn and to continue to fight and protect South Africans.”

Mkhwebane said the EFF’s cardinal pillars resonated with her. Among other factors, the party advocates for the expropriation of land, the nationalisation of mines and banks, free education and healthcare, and investment in the development of the African economy.

“I joined because our people are landless and the EFF has said it would make sure that it expropriates the land without compensation,” she said.

Odd relations

In January 2017, EFF leader Julius Malema labelled Mkhwebane a Gupta puppet and a spy and said he and his party regretted supporting her for the position of Public Protector after she released a controversial report about the Absa bailout.

At the time, Mkhwebane had threatened to take the DA to court for labelling her a spy. Malema said, “If you’re not a spy, because now we believe you’re a spy, your actions suggest that you’re a spy, so take the DA to court.”

Mkhwebane previously worked for the State Security Agency.

Three years later, in 2020, Malema had a change of heart, denying ever calling Mkhwebane a spy. “We have never called her a spy. We may not like what people do but we respect the rule of law.”

On Monday, Mkhwebane insisted she was not disgruntled by her impeachment.

“I am not disgruntled or anything. At my age, it is still my wish to serve … I am here to hold the very same executive to account.”

In a statement welcoming her to the party, the EFF said Mkhwebane’s removal from office was “politically motivated” and that she would bring valuable experience to the party.

“Advocate Mkhwebane has been a servant of the people of the people [sic] of South Africa for the last seven years, and has been a thorn in the side of the establishment and those who abuse their power at the expense of the most vulnerable in South Africa.”

The party said she was “one of the most successful Public Protectors of our democracy”, stating that of the 412 reports issued during her term, only 17 had been set aside in court. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Bob Kuhn says:

    Dumping ground for redundant and expelled anc cadres!

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Epic FFail.

    The fact that this party exists at all is testament to the lack of education in our country.

    • Gareth Searle says:

      and the have nots. they are a direct result of dire poverty and desperation too

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        Educated have-nots would not vote for Epic FFail because they would know it can only make their lives worse.

        Epic FFail would be left with only their natural fit voter base …criminals.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    Her experience will bring massive incompetence to the scrapyard of political incompetents. Not only is she a bare faced liar in public, she knows all there is know about looting state coffers legally. We can only wish her beloved EFF every success in their failure to win the next elections. RIP.

  • William Kelly says:

    States owns everything eh? What does that make it’s citizens? I think the slavery model has been shown to not really work all that well for the slaves. The elites don’t do too badly out of it however. I wonder why the EFF has chosen this model then? I can’t work it out.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    Cut from the same, self-serving cloth as that other buffoon, Ju-Ju, who would support and say anything that advanced his own bank account and enabled him to evade justice.

    Let us hope that the long arm does indeed catch up with both of these prize miscreants.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    That’s where she belongs.

  • Agf Agf says:

    Surprise surprise

  • Rae Earl says:

    She’s a born loser. Joining the VBS Bank looters is not going to further her hopeless career in any meaningful way. She and her side kick Dali Mpofu milked her PP office of millions in useless delay tactics to try and remain in power long enough to score a golden handshake. Money is her game, not rescuing the poor and vulnerable in our society.

  • Jennifer D says:

    The sad thing is that Julius and Mkhwebane take themselves seriously. They clearly have no idea how ridiculous and pathetic they appear. That is the only positive thing about Cyril – at least he has a little decorum which is quite unusual amongst all these childlike buffoons.

  • chris smit says:

    The poor just got porer

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    Very interesting developments after the ANC and the DA deliberately destroyed the only institution that has held the executive to account since 1994 using court judgements. Mazzone, who lied about her qualifications led the charge from the DA. They did not destroy an individual but an institution and the judiciary has been complicit in this. The shameful Section 194 Committee whose members have failed for years to hold the executive to account leading to state capture and the continuing looting on an industrial scale decided to victimise the person of the Public Protector rendering the institution impotent. These horrible people are the same people who were at the forefront of defending the President from the Report of the Panel appointed by the very same cheque collectors. Dyantyi who is looking for a cabinet post, is known to have made statements before about her not withstanding the corruption exposed on the extortion and his conduct throughout the inquiry. The DA cheque collectors have decided not to support Gcaleka and the ANC is in a quandary and they the IFP support to appoint her and if they do not get it, she is going to remain a permanent deputy like the Deputy Speaker who has been there fo donkey years misbehaving. We support her joining the EFF and to go to parliament and to give hell to the ANC and IFP Public Protector. The ANC is going to be learning that they have destroyed an institution to protect not only themselves but the corrupt DA.

    • bigbad jon says:

      Mazzone never lied about her qualifications, this was investigated by DM in 2021. So the rest of your biased blah-blah can’t be trusted either.

    • Ben Harper says:

      And there we have it, it’s an eff fanatic

    • Willem Boshoff says:

      LOL they removed an incompetent and is trying to save the institution. The list of Mkhwebane’s failures are etched forever in damning judgments while a plethora of credible investigative journalism findings shows us who her handlers are. Your unremarkable and unsubstantiated drivel is indeed worthy of her who has now sunk to the very bottom.

    • Tim Price says:

      Defending the indefensible as any good EFF sycophant would. Please recommend to your CIC that the courts be approached to set aside the parliamentary enquiry. We need another Dali comedy show.

      • Con Tester says:

        Well, the article does say that Reverend Julius (it’s a personality cult, after all) “threatened to take [the s194 committee report] on judicial review.”

        But here’s the quandary: Cunningham asserts that “the judiciary has been complicit in [the destruction of the PPSA institution],” on which assumption the outcome of a judicial review is a foregone conclusion.

        Of course, the outcome is indeed a foregone conclusion, but not for the reason Cunningham here supposes.

        (As an aside, whenever someone rails against the judiciary, it’s a virtual certainty that they have a one-sided or self-interested view. That’s not to say that our judiciary is entirely flawless, only that on the whole it functions well, albeit slowly, and that it is remarkably tolerant and accommodating towards liars, malefactors, and blusterous narcissists.)

    • Matthew Quinton says:

      Cunningham you clever piggy

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Clearly more ham than cunning. Shame.

  • Ritchie Morris says:

    Whilst carrying my Gucci bags and wearing my Jimmy Choo shoes.

  • Nic Bosveld says:

    Is the average IQ in the EFF now lower or higher?

  • wow, with followers like Cunningham, I guess you can speak utter drivel (BM and JM) and someone out there is stupid enough to believe you and even try to justify the drivel. Its mindblowing, I mean he can write and spell….its not like he’s illiterate….

  • John Smythe says:

    Protect the poor and marginalised? Like VBS and her new boss?

  • Steve Davidson says:

    Someone should tell her there’s no VBS money left to pay her lawyer’s fees.

  • Erna Westdyk says:

    Only people prepared to give her a job.

  • Kanu Sukha says:

    I love the heading to his article … especially the last part in brackets ! How desperate can we get for comic relief ! It makes your stomach ache .

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