ANC welcomes Adv. Mkhwebane election, slams DA for smear campaign

SEPTEMBER 9, 2016

The African National Congress (ANC) has welcomed the endorsement of Adv. Busisiwe Joyce Mkhwebane by the National Assembly for appointment as the next Public Protector by President Jacob Zuma and lambasted the Democratic Alliance (DA) for embarking on a smear campaign against her.

Advocate Mkhwebane, who beat 78 other candidates in a marathon interview process, on Wednesday needed the approval of 60% of MPs (or 240 votes) in order for her name to be sent to the President for approval. She ended up getting 263 votes.

"Adv Mkhwebane possesses all the necessary skills, experience and qualifications prescribed by the Constitution and the Public Protector Act to lead this important institution of our constitutional democracy," said Zizi Kodwa, the ANC's National Spokesperson.

"We applaud Parliament for living up to its mandate of being a people's parliament by ensuring public participation, openness and transparency throughout the entire candidates selection process. Without a doubt, this has ensured the integrity of the process is guarded and that the outcome enjoys the trust and confidence of the people of South Africa."

But her acention was not without huddles as the DA accused her of being a former spy and being too close to the President. The party did not endorse her nomination during voting in Parliament while COPE abstain from voting.

Kodwa said that the party was "gravely dismayed by the baseless and downright defamatory claims made by the DA regarding the fitness of Adv. Mkhwebane to hold the office of the Public Protector".

"We wish to join all patriotic South Africans in condemning with the deserved contempt the party's malicious political campaign, whose real intention is not only to assassinate the character of a qualified and highly capable woman but to also to tarnish the crucial institution supporting our democracy. These reckless dirty claims are being peddled with impunity without even providing a shred of evidence to back them," he described.

"DA is known to be anti-women and would go to great lengths to malign their integrity just to prevent them from advancing to positions of power. We have witnessed the same posture in the Western Cape provincial government, where the DA shamelessly appointed an all men and mostly white executive.

"The DA's objection and its smear campaign against Adv. Mkhwebane also smacks of racist undertones which regards any Black candidate before Parliament as incompetent and unfit until proven otherwise. We have witnessed similar approach during the candidacies of Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini, who have been leading their respective institutions with diligence."

Kodwa said that the DA must not be allowed to continue with its spurious and damaging public claims without providing evidence to support them.

"We therefore demand that it immediately retract and apologize to Adv. Mkhwebane and all South Africans."