Public Protector a factor in widening divisions between ANC factions

Public Protector a factor in widening divisions between ANC factions

- The ANC appears to be splitting between those who support Busisiwe Mkhwebane and those who oppose her

- Much of this is related to her investigation regarding Cyril Ramaphosa

- Gwede Mantashe says that the Public Protector's office is pursuing a political agenda, while Ace Magashule and others have called for Mkhwebane to be given space to do her job

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It appears that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane may be driving a wedge between the dominant ANC factions.

The Public Protector, and particularly her investigation of Cyril Ramaphosa, has divided opinion within the party.

Those loyal to the president, such as Gwede Mantashe, have slammed Mkhwebane, while the pro-Zuma faction led by Ace Magashule has demanded that Mkhwebane be given freedom and space to do her job.

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In recent weeks, various groups allied to the ANC have taken a stand either for or against Mkhwebane. The MKVMA has sided with her, while the SACP, a key ANC alliance partner, has criticised the Public Protector, even calling for an inquiry into her fitness to hold office. 

Much of the criticism against Mkhwebane revolves around her investigation into whether Cyril Ramaphosa lied to Parliament regarding the alleged R500 000 payment made to his election campaign by former Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.

Mantashe has said that Mkhwebane's investigation is unfair, as she is not looking into any of the other candidates for the ANC leadership position, according to The Citizen.

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Additionally, Mkhwebane appears to believe that Ramaphosa violated the Constitution by failing to implement remedial action against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. This comes after the Public Protector recommended that such action be taken, has gathered.

The president has said that he believes it would not be appropriate to institute disciplinary action against Gordhan at this time, as his application for a court review of Mkhwebane's ruling is still underway.

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