Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

In response to questions about her unrecorded meeting with the Presidency before the release of her Absa report, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said on eNCA: "Why must I not meet with the president to make sure that whatever investigation or where he is implicated or where he’s supposed to act he can’t be consulted on? No. It can’t be like that."

Well, not only can it be like that, but it must be like that. As a Chapter Nine institution, the office of the public protector is an independent institution. This means it is independent of the government and subject only to the Constitution and law that states it must report annually to Parliament. Zuma was not implicated in the report, he is not supposed to act in his singular capacity as the president and he is not supposed to be "consulted" on the public protector’s work.

Mkhwebane said "record 53 has been filed" but admitted this "interview" was not recorded. She also admitted that she had met with the State Security Agency. Her notes of this meeting referred to discussion of the question, "How are they vulnerable?" in relation to the Reserve Bank. What on earth was she doing talking to state security at all?

The Bank says these discussions were unlawful and unfair and that her mandate is "to pursue maladministration in the functioning of organs of state". Mkhwebane has maladministered her mandate. And lied to us.

SC WeissParktown North

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