Parliament approves Mkhwebane for Public Protector job

By Drum Digital
08 September 2016

Parliament has put forward its vote for Busisiwe Mkhwebane for South Africa’s next Public Protector.

Parliament has put forward its vote for Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane for South Africa’s next Public Protector.

She was endorsed with 263 votes, while 79 MPs voted against her candidacy and 1 MP abstained during a debate in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Now, the report of the ad-hoc committee set up to select a new Public Protector would be sent to President Jacob Zuma, who would have the final say.

Mkhwebane emerged as the favourite during selection process by an ad-hoc committee made up of members of several political parties that was chaired by Makhosi Khoza.

The 14 shortlisted candidates were grilled by members of the committee, the majority of which said they were impressed by Mkhwebane’s experience working as senior investigator and acting provincial representative at the Office of the Public Protector.

She also has vast legal experience and began her career at the Department of Justice as a lawyer, before moving on to work at the South African Human Rights Commission as a senior researcher.

However, the Democratic Alliance, which does not support her election, has accused her of being a spy for Government while on the State Security Agency’s payroll during her time as immigration officer at the South African embassy in China in 2010.

The DA opted for Professor Bongani Majola as the new Public Protector instead.

Interestingly, South Africa’s favourite Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, was also not a DA favourite when she took up office 2009, but her no-nonsense approach soon gained her much favour with the official opposition party.

However, the final call to decide who the new Public Protector will be is ultimately up to the President.

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