Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip, John Steenhuisen, says the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has once again shown that she doesn’t understand the Constitution, when she found that Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s tweet about colonialism violated both the Executive Members Ethics Code and provisions of the Constitution.

Mkhwebane says Zille’s comments, being a member of the executive, have the capability to influence the public.

However, Steenhuisen says the finding has again exposed Mkhwebane’s knowledge of the law.

“I have no doubt that this matter will be taken on review and I have no doubt that like in the Bankcorp matter and so many others, the PP is going to find herself embarrassed once again, through not even showing a rudimentary understanding of the constitution and the law.”


Last year, Zille tweeted that colonialism wasn’t all negative. She later apologised, saying the comments were not a defence of colonialism.

Mkhwebane has ordered, as part of remedial action, that the Western Cape legislature take action against Zille within 30 days. Zille’s office says it will likely seek a judicial review on Mkhwebane’s findings.

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) has questioned the Public Protector’s action in investigating Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s controversial tweet.

CASAC’S Executive Secretary Lawson Naidoo believes this was not a matter for the Public Protector’s attention….

“One needs to cross check why she finds it necessary to investigate a tweet by the premier of the Western Cape. You know it will take some stretch of the imagination to see how this fits within the mandate of the office. The office of the public protector is really there to investigate maladministration and abuse of public power.”