The African National Congress (ANC) has accused the Democratic Alliance (DA) of being racist by its opposition of Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane as Public Protector.
ANC National Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa in a statement said the DA must not be allowed to continue spreading false and damaging claims about Mkhwebane.
“The DA’s objection and its smear campaign against Adv. Mkhwebane also smacks of racist undertones which regards any Black candidate before Parliament as incompetent and unfit until proven otherwise,” said Kodwa.
“We have witnessed similar approach during the candidacies of Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini, who have been leading their respective institutions with diligence,” added Kodwa.
On Wednesday DA’s Shadow Minister of Justice Glynnis Breytenbach reiterated the Party’s stance on the nomination of Mkhwebane by saying she was “illogically” preferred over other qualifying candidates.
Breytenbach also said Mkhwebane lacked relative legal experience and stressed that it is suspicious why she failed to explain why she left a position at the Department of Home Affairs for a lower-ranking job in the intelligence services.
Members of Parliament debated Mkhwebane’s nomination and she was then endorsed by a majority of MPs and all parties except for the DA of course.
Kodwa said the DA’s stance in this issue was appalling and questioned how the Party could say such defamatory claims about Mkhwebane.
He added they condemn the DA’s “malicious political campaign” against Mkhwebane and then called on the Party to apologise to the next Public Protector.
“We wish to join all patriotic South Africans in condemning with the deserved contempt the party’s malicious political campaign, whose real intention is not only to assassinate the character of a qualified and highly capable woman but to also to tarnish the crucial institution supporting our democracy,” said Kodwa.
“We therefore demand that it immediately retract and apologize to Adv. Mkhwebane and all South Africans,” he added.
With Mkhwebane having received the needed endorsement from MPs, she now requires President Jacob Zuma’s assent to be officially confirmed as the next Public Protector.
By Senzile Kubheka