South Africa: ANC On Mkhwebane vs Ramaphosa - 'We Are All Equal Before the Law, Respect Chapter 9 Institutions'

Public Protector house.

The ANC has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's commitment to co-operate with the Office of the Public Protector.

Ramaphosa responded to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's notice of the investigation into his "alleged violations of the Executive Ethics Code", News24 reported on Thursday.

In a statement, the Presidency said Ramaphosa had submitted documents the same day and that it would, hopefully, assist in concluding the matter.

"This sends a strong message to all South Africans that we are all equal before the law and that the Office of the Public Protector, as a Chapter 9 institution, must be respected," said ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe in a statement on Friday.

Mabe said the mandate of the Office of the Public Protector was to strengthen constitutional democracy, which the party believes is necessary to consolidate democratic gains.

He said the party called on the public to exercise restraint and to refrain from making public statements that have the potential to undermine the integrity and credibility of Chapter 9 institutions.

"The men and women charged with the responsibility to lead these constitutional bodies are expected to discharge their duties without any ulterior motives and within the confines of the law and their prescribed mandate.

"These institutions are important arms of our constitutional democracy. We have a duty to protect and defend their integrity," he said.

The party said it also noted local government audit outcomes as presented by the Auditor-General this week.

"We call on the Office of the Auditor-General to intensify its efforts to deepen public awareness and understanding of the work of their office.

"We urge the sixth administration to pay focused attention to fixing the local sphere of government which is the coalface of service delivery."

On Wednesday, the SA Communist Party's (SACP) second deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, called Mkhwebane a "hired gun" instructed by rogue elements.

Speaking at Nehawu's policy conference, Mapaila said Mkhwebane's office was used to delegitimise individuals.

"Particularly those who fight back whom rogue elements in the intelligence don't agree with, so that finally, there could be adverse rulings against them."

A day later, ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe told the media he believed Mkhwebane was venturing into political space and questioned her reasons for investigating President Cyril Ramaphosa for money laundering allegations related to a R500 000 donation to his ANC presidential campaign.

Mantashe was speaking at an impromptu media briefing on the sidelines of the Nehawu conference on Thursday.


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