South Africa’s Public Protector Accused of Misconduct

(Bloomberg) -- South African Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been accused of misconduct by a whistle-blower who filed an affidavit to the president’s office on Friday, the AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism reported.

According to the statement, a report published by Mkhwebane in 2017 calling for a constitutional amendment was ordered by the state security agency, her former employer. The proposed amendment would have ultimately led to the nationalization of South Africa’s central bank.

“These are baseless claims and ramblings of disgruntled current and former employees, some of whom are or were facing disciplinary action,” Mkhwebane’s spokesman Oupa Segalwe said by text message.

The whistle-blower also alleged that Mkhwebane instructed investigators not to publish information about two politicians in a 2018 investigation into the Gupta money-laundering scheme.

Mkhwebane, who took over the public protector office in 2016, has been accused of bias by the High Court, and almost a third of the reports issued during her tenure are facing legal challenges. The courts have overturned several of Mkhwebane’s previous rulings and rebuked her for failing to stick to her constitutional mandate. She denies the allegations.

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