Mkhwebane on allegations that she is targeting Ramaphosa, Gordhan: 'Why should I turn a blind eye'

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Phill Magakoe/ The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Phill Magakoe/ The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says there is no truth in the belief that she is targeting President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Mkhwebane was giving the keynote address at a leadership dialogue hosted at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Friday. 

Chief among the topics she touched on were her court battles with Ramaphosa and Gordhan.

"Some of the major challenges are baseless accusations that I am involved in ANC factions, that I am biased in favour of one of the factions, and that I am targeting the president and the minister of public enterprises.

'Why should I turn a blind eye?'

"The narrative is that I am part of the so-called 'push back' against efforts to fight corruption within state-owned enterprises, as supposedly spearheaded by the president and the minister [of Public Enterprises]," said Mkhwebane.

She said her reports on the so-called "rogue unit" at SARS, the Ivan Pillay payout and Ramaphosa's Bosasa payment had been used as examples of this alleged fight back.

"Why should I turn a blind eye when I am furnished with complaints against them? Can I refuse to investigate? In terms of the Executive Members Ethics Act, I must investigate any alleged breaches of the Executive Code of Ethics," Mkhwebane insisted.

Factions

She said the office she occupied was apolitical, but that sometimes it enters the realm of politics.

"As a result, we do not even know who belongs to which faction of the ANC. We hear from the media that this one is with that faction and so forth… [but] as you will see, I have made adverse findings against even those the media tell us belong to the faction we are accused today of protecting."

Mkhwebane also used the opportunity to send condolences to the family of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who died aged 95 on Friday morning.

"His passing is a huge loss to the continent," she said. 

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