The office of the Public Protector has hit back at the Democratic Alliance (DA) for its call for her removal, describing it as disingenuous.

On Thursday, the DA requested the newly elected Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise to begin an investigation into Busisiwe Mkhwebane‘s fitness to hold office.

The move follows a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court that declared the Public Protector’s Vrede Dairy farm project report unconstitutional and invalid.

Releasing reports of investigations her office has been conducting in Pretoria on Friday, Mkhwebane blasted those who have accused her of having said she doesn’t interpret the law when carrying out her duties.

She says they intentionally distorted the submissions she had made to Parliament during a 2018 bid by the Democratic Alliance and Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) to have her booted out of office.

In that document, Mkhwebane says she pointed out that finding by a court against her doesn’t warrant her leaving office nor amounts to incompetence.

“That’s why the decisions of superior courts such as the Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court to set aside a decision are never ground for removal from a bench of judges who have written the overturned rulings or even brand them incompetent.”

Mkhwebane’s Spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe says the DA seems to be speaking with a forked tongue when it comes to its attitude towards the Public Protector.

“So from where we stand this is the party that speaks from both side of the mouth because today they will be calling for the public protector’s removal and the next day-their leader will be here asking the public protector to investigate the allegations of breach of the executive codes by the President.”

“So it’s confusing. It’s either you trust us or you don’t.”

Mkhwebane will be appealing the ruling that has set aside the Vrede report.

The report probed, among other things, how at least R30 million paid to the controversial Gupta family through the farm ended up funding a relative’s lavish Sun City wedding in 2013.

The money was allegedly siphoned from the Vrede Diary project, which was supposed to benefit 100 emerging farmers from the Free State province.

 

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