South Africa: Unpacking the Public Protector's Opposition to the Scope of the Zondo Commission


Weekend reports revealed that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has lodged a responding affidavit to the application by Judge Raymond Zondo to extend the lifespan of the Zondo Commission. Mkhwebane has since blasted the media for inaccurately reporting that she wishes to clip Zondo's wings - but her affidavit does make clear her opposition to the scope of the Zondo Commission's inquiry. It's worth considering why.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane feels both a sense of ownership towards the inquiry into State Capture and a sense of resentment that the job was not left to her office.

That much is made clear by the affidavit deposed by Mkhwebane in response to the court application lodged by Judge Raymond Zondo asking for more time to complete the Zondo Commission's inquiry into State Capture.

Mkhwebane does have a certain degree of skin in this game, as was acknowledged by Judge Zondo when he listed the public protector as one of eight respondents to his application "because of the interest they have in the matter".

This is because the establishment of the State Capture inquiry arose from the work of Mkhwebane's predecessor Thuli Madonsela, whose October 2016 State of Capture report prescribed the commission as...

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