Embattled South Africa Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Friday compared herself to Struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to much debate on social media.
In a stunningly fierce tweet, the public protector, who has been under increased scrutiny having lost several high profile cases for her investigative reports, said her treatment was like that of Stratcom with Winnie Mandela.
There are growing calls for Mkhwebane to be fired as the head of the Chapter 9 institution. The latest high profile case saw the Constitutional Court uphold a Gauteng North High Court decision which saw her incur a punitive personal cost order for her report into the Bankcorp and Reserve Bank lifeboat matter.
The highest court in the land was scathing against the conduct of the public protector and found that she had acted in bad faith, was not honest and her conduct fell “short of the high standards required of her office”.
The court upheld the decision to slap her with 15% of the Reserve Bank’s legal fees from her own pocket, the figure, reported at close to R900 000.
Taking to Twitter on Friday, Mkhwebane tweeted a video from Pascale Lamche’s documentary titled Winnie, which was released last year after her death. In the documentary, a former Stratcom agent (the Apartheid police’s strategic communication propaganda apparatus) confirmed that they had targeted Madikizela-Mandela and alleged he had a database of over 40 journalists working with him.
“Lest we forget how #WinnieMadikizelaMandela was treated by stratcom,” tweeted Mkhwebane.
Borrowing from EFF leader Julius Malema’s speech at Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral last year, she continued: “Mama I am subjected to the same treatment and my family is also terrorized including my 89 year old mother,” she said, adding a bible line, ‘if I perish, I perish’.
An Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project report this week claimed Mkhwebane was being investigated for receiving $5 000 from Gupta associates, while a Mail and Guardian report on Friday said FNB had opened an investigation for exchange control violations.