EXCLUSIVE: Straight talk with Sifiso Mahlangu: Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane


THREATS, intimidation, leaks, a home burglary and the inexplicable flooding of her office. This is the life of hell public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been subjected to since the release of the CIEX report into the Bankorp bailout. Mkhwebane said that since the report’s release, which exposed the R1.2bn “illegal gift” to Bankorp, she was increasingly subjected to intimidatory tactics to prevent her from exposing corruption in all spheres of society.

“One would have to come to this conclusion because especially after that report, there have been a number of things that have happened,” Mkhwebane said. “The issue of receiving threatening emails and calls but also the damage to my property (house) and this office flooding for some strange reason.

Now that the matter is before the court strange things are happening. “For some strange reason, documents lodged with that office (court), are leaking. It’s as if they are saying I should keep quiet and not deal with this matter. “Just focus on where we are directing you to focus on,” she said. “Corruption has no colour,” she said.

Mkhwebane now finds herself subject to a DA-inspired parliamentary attempt to probe her fitness to hold office. Mkhwebane also hit out at the media, saying that she had been subjected to “fault-finding scrutiny”. “I used to work with the media at Home Affairs but I haven’t seen this side of the media before. It’s so unfortunate that reporting is not fair,” Mkhwebane said. She said the media often placed her on the “back foot”. “Because no matter what you do, you are there to sell papers. It’s commercially driven. For me, it’s making sure I continue to work. My focus is to go to the grass roots,” she said. Mkhwebane, however, refused to buckle under the pressure piled on her.

In her attempts to roll back libelous perceptions about her character, she vowed to take on the DA over the party’s allegations of her being a government “spy”. Mkhwebane said she would be filing a lawsuit for defamation against the party by next week. “Remember in February, I indicated that if they don’t withdraw or retract the statement, I’ll be taking the matter on in court. “We’ve issued a letter of demand but still they are not willing to retract. I can confidently say that next week at the latest, we’ll be issuing papers against the DA for defamation.”

Bonolo Selebano