The African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday demanded that the Democratic Alliance (DA) “immediately retract and apologise” for the “baseless and downright defamatory claims” it made about Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Mkhwebane’s nomination as the next public protector was confirmed by the National Assembly on Wednesday night‚ and it is now up to President Jacob Zuma to appoint her.
The DA’s Glynnis Breytenbach had‚ ahead on Wednesday’s night debate and vote‚ said the party would not back advocate Mkhwebane as it was “suspicious” that she was “on the payroll” of the State Security Agency.
The ruling party’s Zizi Kodwa described this as “reckless dirty claims…being peddled with impunity without even providing a shred of evidence to back them”.
“The DA must not be allowed to continue with its spurious and damaging public claims without providing evidence to support them. We therefore demand that it immediately retract and apologize to advocate Mkhwebane and all South Africans.”
Kodwa said the DA is “known to be anti-women and would go to great lengths to malign their integrity just to prevent them from advancing to positions of power” and “its smear campaign against Mkhwebane also smacks of racist undertones which regards any black candidate before Parliament as incompetent and unfit until proven otherwise”.
The apology is unlikely to be forthcoming‚ as Breytenbach told the National Assembly on Wednesday night that outgoing public protector Thuli Madonsela “was vilified by the ANC in and outside of this house”.
“Those now supporting Ms Mkhwebane‚ saying she must find her own moral compass‚ are precisely those members who accused Ms Madonsela of being arrogant‚ a law unto herself and a spy‚” she said.