Bullying the Public Protector will create 'civil war', says pro-Mkhwebane group

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Netwerk24)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Netwerk24)

Just a day after a group calling itself Concerned South Africans announced its intention to march against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, another group said it will be marching in support of the office.

Itumeleng Madisha, the spokesperson for the Mahlodi Madisha Education Foundation, told News24 on Thursday the foundation would be marching in Pretoria on August 30.

"We believe it is necessary [to march] because we believe that bullying the Public Protector is not going to assist, it is going to create a civil war," he said.

"That office needs to protect the most vulnerable and the poorest of the poor against those that steal money from the state and continues to use that money to generate money for them." 

Madisha believes Mkhwebane is being "bullied" by the media.

"The media is taking its instructions from its principals who are conflicted in this state capture project. Busisiwe will come and go but the office will remain. What we do today will determine how my child is going to be treated in that office. We need to set this precedent now."

Madisha said the City of Tshwane had approved the foundation's application to march.  

READ: Public Protector to appeal Estina dairy farm cost judgment

Concerned South Africans' Hangwi Maumela said the group was organising its own march to Mkhwebane's office and plan to camp there until she resigns.

"Each time she goes to court she loses and the public ends up paying," Maumele told News24.

He said the organisation, which he said only accepted ANC and SACP members, was planning to march to Mkhwebane's offices in Pretoria on August 30 "and not leave until she leaves office". 

Maumela added Mkhwebane should be focusing on investigating state-owned enterprises, which have been "looted", instead of President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Mkhwebane is currently in the midst of a slew of challenges to her findings that the president breached the Executive Members' Ethics Act over a R500 000 donation to his campaign to be elected ANC president.

He has taken the finding on review.

On Wednesday, Mkhwebane filed bank statements, which are in the safekeeping of a judge, that she used to come to her conclusion. 

But Maumela, who has in the past thrown his weight behind Ramaphosa, felt Mkhwebane was wasting public money by "losing cases" and was causing jitters among investors. 

ALSO READ:  Mkhwebane's records on Ramaphosa campaign donations to remain sealed

"When you fight the president, you fight the country," he said.

Maumela has also previously called for former president Jacob Zuma to step down.

City Press reported he was the leader of the Faith Bible Church in the North West and describes himself as a bishop on social media.

A warrant for his arrest for alleged defamation had also reportedly been issued after he stated Deputy President David Mabuza was a "murderer", City Press reported.

Mpumalanga police were not immediately available to say whether it was served. 

Meanwhile, in statement issued on Thursday, the ANC said it distanced itself from the alleged planned shutdown of the Office of the Public Protector.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party had noted posts doing the rounds on social media with the official logo and Ramaphosa's face calling for a general march.

"The ANC distances itself from this ill-conceived campaign, whether fake or real, and demands that our logo should immediately be removed from all such posters and publicity material," Mabe added.

"It should be noted that it is illegal to use the ANC logo without permission. No such permission had been granted, and those abusing our logo leave themselves open to legal action.

"We find this conduct to be another mischievous attempt to isolate President Ramaphosa from the collective leadership of the ANC and its legitimate structures. This malicious campaign is deplorable and calculated to harm the good name of the ANC." 

Mabe said the ANC supported and respected all constitutional bodies including the Office of the Public Protector. 

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