Public Protector: I'm being subjected to the same treatment as Winnie Mandela

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

Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkwhebane, claims she is being "subjected to the same treatment" as the late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela adding that her ''family is being terrorised''.  

In a tweet posted on Friday afternoon, Mkwhebane says "Lest we forget how #WinnieMadikizelaMandela was treated by stratcom, Mama I am subjected to the same treatment and my family is also terrorized including my 89 year old mother."

Stratcom (Strategic Communications) was the name of a covert, dirty-tricks and disinformation unit that operated under the apartheid regime's state security apparatus. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) heard evidence from former Stratcom members about how they would infiltrate media houses and use the media to spread disinformation about struggle leaders such as Madikizela-Mandela.

Mkwhebane has now claimed that she is being subjected to the same treatment, seemingly by media houses.

Some Twitter users agreed with Mkwhebane. 

Carl Nieahaus, uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson, said he admired Mkwhebane's courage.

Other Twitter users were less inclined to agree with the Public Protector. 

Global anti-corruption journalism organisation The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reported on Tuesday that Mkhwebane received a $5000 (roughly R70 000) payment linked to a broader network involving the Gupta family in 2014. 

That report does not prove any wrongdoing on Mkwhebane's part, as there is no evidence that the payment was directly from a Gupta-linked entity or person. It rather states that the transfer she made was from her own Hong Kong bank account at the time to her own FNB account here at home.

However, her denial that any transfer was ever made has left many confused.

In her response to the report, Mkwhebane said it was part of a series of events that were an orchestrated campaign and concerted effort in political circles, civil society and the media to discredit her "merely because she has been able to muster enough courage to hold those seen as 'untouchable' to account".

She railed against "dirty tricks from some figures and their allies in civil society, political circles and in the media".

The OCCRP report, Mkhwebane said, was part of this onslaught.

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