Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: SUPPLIED
Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: SUPPLIED

On a daily basis, damning revelations are emerging of the true scale and extent of the capture of the executive and our state-owned enterprises by the Gupta-Zuma network.

As the consequences of each new e-mail and allegation break, it is pertinent to ask the question: where is our public protector?

In the midst of this scandal, Busisiwe Mkhwebane seems to be missing in action by maintaining a strangely stoic silence. This is most odd, as section seven of the Public Protector Act empowers the office of the public protector to conduct an investigation on her own initiative. Why on earth has she not acted or announced action on even one of the allegations of abuse of public office that have emerged in recent weeks?

The constitutional obligation of the public protector is precisely to investigate any conduct in state affairs or the public administration that is "alleged or suspected to be improper, or to result in any impropriety or prejudice". The latest scandal surely ticks all those boxes.

A great deal of public scepticism heralded Mkhwebane’s appointment to this critical post. So far her inaction has done nothing but prove her critics right.

South Africans need a strong public protector who is going to stand up for the constitution and what is right, not a patsy who kowtows to the executive.

It’s time to break your silence and get to work on this scourge, Ms Mkhwebane, SA is watching!

John Steenhuisen, MP chief whip of the official opposition, Cape Town

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