EFF labels Ramaphosa a destructive dictator for move to suspend Mkhwebane

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Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane addresses the media during a press conference.
Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane addresses the media during a press conference.
Antonio Muchave, Gallo Images, Sowetan
  • Cyril Ramaphosa has written to Busisiwe Mkhwebane to ask her to give reasons why she should not be suspended.
  • The EFF has come to Mkhwebane's defence, labelling Ramaphosa a "dictator".
  • The party says it believes Mkhwebane's suspension will weaken the Office of the Public Protector.

The EFF believes President Cyril Ramaphosa's move to possibly suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is dictatorial and fear-driven.

The party has been steadfast advocates for Mkhwebane in the past, and it held no punches in speaking against any move to suspend her.

The EFF labelled the possible suspension as another attempt to destroy an African woman.

"The letter demanding that Mkhwebane pleads her case to not be suspended is a veiled threat, and an effective removal of the Public Protector before a democratic institution can appraise itself on her performance, and whether she is capable of occupying that office."

The EFF said on Friday:

It is an implementation of the factional and undemocratic step-aside policy of his (Ramaphosa's) ruling party at the level of the state, which finds people guilty until proven innocent.

Ramaphosa wrote to Mkhwebane to ask her to give reasons why he should not suspend her, pending the finalisation of the parliamentary impeachment proceedings investigating her fitness to hold office.

The president gave her 10 days to respond.

Ramaphosa has moved swiftly on the legislative prerogative, which allows him to suspend Mkhwebane while she faces an inquiry, which is led by Parliament.

Meanwhile, the DA said it noted the developments with regard to the impeachment process of Mkhwebane, and the intention of suspension indicated by the president, pending the reasons for not doing so to be provided by the Public Protector.

"This process is both necessary and urgent, given the numerous negative judgments expressed against the Public Protector. We hope that this process reaches a conclusion in the near future," the party said in a statement. 

Earlier, News24 reported that National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had written to Ramaphosa, informing him that the impeachment process against Mkhwebane would continue.

The EFF said Parliament's Section 194 Committee, which is dealing with the impeachment process, should be allowed time to do its work.

READ | ConCourt made 6 'errors' in ruling, says Mkhwebane in latest bid to halt her impeachment

The party said Ramaphosa was conflicted in matters related to Mkhwebane, adding that her suspension was aimed at stripping her office of its powers.

"Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been unwavering in her mandate to hold those in power accountable, and she has done so indiscriminately, implicating Ramaphosa and his allies. To suspend her is, therefore, a measure to strip the Office of the Public Protector of its teeth. It is premature, rushed and leads us to conclude that it is a decision taken out of fear, rather than being based on rationality," the EFF said.

The party said:

His desire for power makes him destructive. He is willing to destroy institutions, create vacancies and operate like a dictator, to ensure that anyone who dares to oppose him is removed.

Earlier, Mkhwebane said she was seeking legal advice on the president's notice to suspend her.

She previously indicated that she would fight efforts to place her on suspension while her impeachment proceedings continued.

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