The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) said it regretted having supported the nomination of advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane as South Africa’s fourth public protector.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), which vehemently opposed Mkhwebane’s candidature, said it was vindicated by her poor performance – six years after her appointment received an overwhelming 266 votes against 79 (with one abstention) in the National Assembly.
Since succeeding advocate Thuli Madonsela in October 2016, Mkhwebane‘s findings have been brought under scrutiny.
Asked by The Citizen whether he regretted endorsing the Mkhwebane nomination, ACDP MP Steve Swart, who formed part of the 14-member parliamentary ad hoc committee chaired by Dr Makhosi Khoza, said: “When Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP Professor Themba Msimang, who served with us on the committee, nominated advocate Mkhwebane, the ACDP endorsed the name.
“Now, several years later, we can say – looking at the information at our disposal and adverse rulings of various courts – our endorsement of her is deeply regrettable. People should also remember that it was an IFP nomination of Mkhwebane, which the ACDP supported – not the ANC’s.”
DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach, who also served on the committee, said the party had no regrets but felt a sense of being vindicated on Mkhwebane’s appointment.
Not the best candidate for the job
“The Democratic Alliance was the only party in parliament to have opposed her appointment – arguing that she was not the best candidate for the job. We argued that she lacked the experience to do the job.
“We had serious apprehensions about her bona fide application for the job and she could not explain herself well before us.
“Those who pushed for her appointment should be left with a dozen eggs all over their faces because we warned them,” she said.