South Africa: Ramaphosa vs Mkhwebane - Bad Moon Rising for the Public Protector?

Top: North Gauteng High Court. Bottom-left: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Bottom-right: President Cyril Ramaphosa.
analysis

The legal machinery is being cranked up against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. In fights such as these, it can be vitally important to get all legal technicalities absolutely correct. Now, apparent mistakes on her part are coming back to haunt her.

In the tussle between President Cyril Ramaphosa (and people around him) and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, there are continuous ebbs and flows. Over the past two days, it appears that the situation is now swinging back against Mkhwebane.

While there is no decisive action yet from Parliament, this week's statement from the ANC backing Ramaphosa over his leaked campaign emails suggests that she may now be on the back foot. At the same time, the legal machinery is being cranked up against her. In fights such as these, it can be vitally important to get all legal technicalities absolutely correct. Now, apparent mistakes on her part are coming back to haunt her.

On the morning of Wednesday 7 August, it emerged that Mkhwebane had suffered what may become an important setback. Head of the National Prosecuting Authority Shamila Batohi had written to Mkhwebane, suggesting that the public protector may have misunderstood her powers. In a letter (wonderfully described as...

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