Kant of the Year: Busisiwe Mkhwebane comes back to rock Parliament with her EFF studs

Kant of the Year: Busisiwe Mkhwebane comes back to rock Parliament with her EFF studs
Former Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.(Photo: Gallo Images / Lubabalo Lesolle)

The EFF MP shines in her choice of the company she keeps.

The winner of this year’s Kant of the Year, beating England flanker Tom Curry and TikTok “doctor” Matthew Lani, is EFF MP Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

This category was specially created for individuals whose behaviour falls short of Villain of the Year but who have, in some way, acted detrimentally, way out of any rational bounds.

Mkhwebane took top honours as Villain of the Year in 2022 for her singular contribution, alongside her co-conspirators, to the waste of millions in taxpayers’ money and dragging the Office of the Public Protector through multiple scandals.

Read more in Daily Maverick: People of the Year 2023: The awesome, awful and truly evil

A former State Security Agency analyst, Mkhwebane has been at the centre of the State Capture project from the moment she was appointed in October 2016 by former president Jacob Zuma.

Henceforth she would not be out of the headlines – or a courtroom – in the country until the vote in Parliament this year to have her step down, and that in itself was a dragged-out piece of Stalingrad strategy.

The damage to both the institution and the careers of many who opposed Mkhwebane remains immeasurable.

From the start, she unlawfully enjoyed a rent-free stay in the ​​Bryntirion ministerial estate in Pretoria, reserved for ministers and their deputies – the individuals over whom she supposedly had oversight. This set taxpayers back about R4-million.

That EFF leader Julius Malema labelled her “a Gupta puppet” and “a spy”, way back then, nary touched moral sides when Mkhwebane, freshly impeached in October, joined the party.

Booted out without benefits, Mkhwebane was left standing in her R15,000 Valentino Rockstud sandals and swapped them for a domestic worker’s outfit when she was sworn in as an EFF member of Parliament.

Prior to this and mid-impeachment, her handsomely paid advocate, former EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu, accompanied her to a series of bizarre press conferences attended by media organisations that had never been heard of before.

There she proclaimed her victimhood, her mission from the heavens and her commitment to the country’s poor – just not the farmers who were meant to benefit from the Estina dairy project in the Free State.

Mkhwebane and her husband, David Skosana, also took 2023 to new lows when they leaked WhatsApp messages and voice clips from former Cabinet minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson about alleged bribes being sought by ANC members.

In one of them, Joemat-Pettersson pleaded with Skosana not to expose her as “it would be the end of me”. And it was. She died a short while later in unexplained circumstances at her Cape Town home. She was 59.

Down but not out, Mkhwebane is bound to be in the running for several 2024 categories as South Africa swings into election mode and politicians think the populace are chess pieces to be played with.

Mkhwebane is no doubt going to go out on the campaign trail for the Champagne Fascists, so look out for the bulletproof, heavily protected blue light convoys as she moves among “our people”.

A worthy winner indeed. DM

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • cism says:

    I do not find the headline is befitting a publication like Daily Maverick.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    If she took advantage of rent free living and hasn’t paid it back, why is she not in jail?

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    Wit kant she’s definitely not on! This generation of ANC and ex-ANC flotsam and jetsam masquerading as ‘leaders’ will go down as the most corrupt, inept and morally bankrupt since the Jamieson Raid’s failed attempt at state capture.

  • Nautius Maximus says:

    What’s to complain about?
    Witty – made me chuckle first thing in the morning.

  • Margi Jensen says:

    Oh brilliant!
    So sad for the humorless readers who purse their lips at this.
    Keep it up Daily Maverick

  • William Dryden says:

    I agree with the writer, Mkhwebane is definitely the villain of the year, however why has there been no cause of death investigated by DM for Joemat- Pettersson who was alleged to have asked Mkhwebane’s husband not to expose her over bribery claims, then mysteriously dies a short while later??

    • Nautius Maximus says:

      Yes – she will be sadly missed following a distinguished career as minister in agriculture and fisheries followed by energy minister. Maybe it was the Russians?

  • Pam Saxby says:

    Resorting to the use of Springbok rugby jargon in this context is nothing short of gutter press journalism. It isn’t funny or clever. You can do better.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Award choice:


    She earned it, should wear that throne.

  • nkululekocharles360 says:

    One had to read the article in order to understand the headline, but the headline on its own is open to different interpretations ( which is really not a good idea, considering the word Kant that is used)

  • Sakhile Gcabashe says:

    The title of this piece whilst seemingly witty, is offensive given the reference wasn’t used in full, which leaves it being too closely linked to an ultimately derogative phrase, particularly to women, and as a result should have been completely avoided by any publication barring the likes of The Sunday World. It’s very low and in poor taste.

  • Colin Louw says:

    One of the commentators implied Tina JP was a good Minister. I am not sure in which universe that was? She screwed up everything she touched from the fisheries allocation to the highly suspect sale of our oil reserves at well below par prices. Won’t discuss the freebies the “nanny” got while flying around the world on Tina’s jaunts. She was a fairly bent politician make no errors, As to the article I think it hilarious but then I still have a sense of humour unlike some readers.

  • Michael Britton says:

    Lovely choice of words, Marianne. It’s great that you and DM have the courage to call it the way you see it. And to all the humourless and all-too-serious readers who are offended by kant, remember that there are kantries where you go to the gantry for such thoughts. Be grateful you no longer live in such a kantry.
    As for context, is there a South African who is not aware of Tom “Tattle-tail” Curry and his chirp to the ref?

  • J Bailey says:

    I fear the controversy over this article has been caused by a typo. Kant is spelled cant in English (unless you’re referring to the German philosopher). Thanks for helping to improve my spelling DM and keep up the good work. Oh, one other thing, in Afrikaans it seems kant means lace or side (eg Buitenkant St)

    The definition of cant:-

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