During a recent interview, the public protector’s mother, Martha Mkhwebane (87), expressed concern about the R900 000 legal fees she was ordered to pay from her own pocket.
“The money she must pay is close to R1 million … what did she do to deserve this?” said Martha.
This after the ruling on 22 July by the Constitutional Court along with the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that Mkhwebane must pay 15 percent of the South African Reserve Bank’s legal in the Absa/Bankkorp matter.
Last year, the public protector’s Bankorp-CIEX report ordering Absa to pay R1.125bn was set aside by the high court after they found she had not been honest in the investigation.
The ruling resulted in many political parties, members of the public and civil society questioning her fitness to hold the office.
Her mother, Martha, is sick of people pushing for her daughter to step down because she believes she is doing a good job as Public Protector.
“As a parent, I don’t know what they [those who say Busisiwe must go] expect her to do which is right. I really don’t like those talks that she must leave her work. I speak to Busisiwe regularly and I know she is very strong. I also pray every day for my family and ask God to give us strength,” she said.
She added that she was also concerned because whenever she listened to the news on the radio all she heard were “disturbing” things about Busisiwe.
Martha also expressed gratitude to Democracy in Action, a civil society group that is raising funds to assist Mkhwebane to pay the R900 000 legal bill.
According to chairperson of Democracy in Action, Thabo Mtshweni, the organisation had already managed to raise over R50 000 for the Public Protector.