ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has cautioned the new public protector Busisiwe Mkhewebane from trying to be a media darling, but instead suggested she should focus on her work.
“The public protector is not a celebrity,” Mantashe reveales in an interview on Friday.
He said she should not be driven by the media and publicity but instead performing her task well.
It’s been a week in office for Mkhwebane who took over from South Africa’s beloved Advocate Thuli Madonsela, after the latter’s tenure expired at midnight on the 14th of October.
Mkhwebane has already gained lots of criticism since her appearance in Parliament on Wednesday where she announced that she’s banned consultants and would not accept donor funds for the office.
At her maiden media briefing on Thursday Mkhwebane defended her position regarding donor funding as having to want to protect the independence of her office, the issue came up during her appearance in Parliament where she was asked about whether donor funding would compromise the institution, this after a revelation that USAID had given the public protector’s office $500 000.
The ANC SG said he felt the controversy around the donation, which the previous public protector had also sought to clarify, could have been better handled.
“I think it could have been handled better if at the point of funding there was an element of disclosure it would have helped especially if its American funded when we all know in the continent that American funding is channel to distraction,” he said, adding that often when American funding came to the African continent if left a lot of destruction in its wake.
“She must investigate cases referred to her, make the findings, hand over reports and that’s it,” Mantashe said of his expectations on Mkhwebane.