Public Protector confident of finishing her term despite suspension intention

PUSHING BACK: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, second from left, addressing members of the community during an inspection-in-loco of the R15m stadium in Lesseyton earlier today Picture: LUVUYO MJEKULA

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is confident she will complete her term in office, which ends in October 2023, she told the media during an inspection-in-loco of the controversial R15m Lesseyton Stadium near Komani earlier today.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed an intention to suspend Mkhwebane.

The president has given the Public Protector 10 days to give reasons why she should not be suspended.

TimesLive reported that a statement from Mkhwebane’s office confirmed receiving a letter stating the president’s intention that he is considering suspending her in terms of section 194(3)(a). The letter further invited the public protector to, within 10 working days, provide reasons why the president should not take such a step.

During her visit to Lesseyton today, a Rep journalist quizzed Mkhwebane on the matter.

She said: “How can I comment on that? Let’s focus on the fact that people do not have water and houses.”

She continued: “The president can give me a letter but what will that help? Will [my] removal help the people around here to have roads and infrastructure?”

She went on say: “But that is a legal process, we will deal with it when the time comes. All I can say is that we are here to protect the public so that they are not [taken for a ride] and public money wasted.”

Further asked if she was confident of keeping her job, she stated: “I am confident that I will serve the public until 2023 in October.”