Embattled Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says news reporting in the country is one of the obstacles for her office. She says the media has been playing the man and not the ball.
The Public Protector was speaking at the UNISA 7th Annual Spring Law Conference in Muldersdrift, West of Johannesburg, on the role of Chapter 9 institutions in a constitutional democracy.
She says her office is in a “David versus Goliath” situation. With the news media being the Goliath that misconstrues the intentions of her office.
Her comments come as there are calls for her removal from office. But Mkhwebane says she’s going nowhere.
Mkhwebane says her probe into the President and his family links to the Bosasa scandal were justified. “Whereas the news media will have you believe that we spend our entire time setting traps for big political players, trying at all costs to nail them.”
She says she’s protected by the Constitution to do her work and all those trying to interfere with her work will be violating the very same Constitution.
“No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the Public Protector which account to the National Assembly and must report to the Assembly on their activities at least once a year. Our investigative powers are drawn from Section 182 of the Constitution, which empowers the Public Protector to investigate, report on and appropriately remedy any alleged or suspected improper or prejudicial conduct in state affairs or the public administration, in any sphere of government,” Mkhwebane defends.
There have been calls for her removal after a damning Constitutional Court ruling against her. But Mkhwebane has again reiterated that she will not be bullied out of office until her term ends in 2023.