Busisiwe Mkhwebane is a South African advocate, prosecutor, and ombudsman serving as the 4th Public Prosecutor of South Africa. She took up the position on the 19th of October 2016 after being appointed by then SA President Jacob Zuma. With a salary of R2.3 million per year, she has become one of the highest-paid people in the South African government.
Before becoming public prosecutor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane bagged many degrees and certificates that helped her land several other high-profile positions. Being in the spotlight has brought her good fortune and some controversies that have kept her in the news.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane Is Well Educated
Busisiwe Mkhwebane is no doubt a philomath as she has been seen raking many certificates to herself. She has been able to attain her position, standing head-on with many political elites because of her educational qualifications.
The Public Prosecutor attended Mkephula Secondary School where she completed her secondary education. Upon matriculation in 1992, she enrolled at the University of Limpopo, formerly called the University of the North, where she bagged a BProc degree. She went on to bag a Bachelor of Law degree from the same University.
Being a determined woman and a lover of education, Busisiwe went on to attend Rand Afrikaans University, currently the University of Johannesburg, where she acquired a diploma in corporate law and a higher diploma in tax. For a woman with political ambitions, Busisiwe Mkhwebane obtained a Master’s degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa in 2010.
The Public Prosecutor Has Inked Many High Professional Positions
Busisiwe Mkhwebane has served in many political offices where she is noted to have done a good job. In 1994, she was involved with the Department of Justice, serving as the Legal Administrative in the International Affairs Directorate. In the department, she had the job designation of prosecuting criminals and maintaining cases.
Joining the South African Human Rights Commission in 1998, she served as a senior researcher where she delivered annual reports on the realization of human rights. The advocate then served as an investigator and acted as the provincial representative in the Public Protector’s office in 1999.
Being a leadership figure who sees mostly to the affairs of her fellow humans, she joined the Department of Home Affairs as the director of refugee affairs in 2005. Serving in the office of Home Affairs, her works were exceptional as she bagged the position of the Director of the asylum seekers management in 2008.
Busisiwe worked in the South African embassy in China from 2010 to 2014. She was later recalled to South Africa to occupy the position of director on Country Information and Corporate Management at the Department of Home Affairs in 2014.
Having a wide knowledge of things, Busisiwe Mkhwebane served as an analyst for the State Security Agency from July 2016 to October 2016. She has equally served as a board member for the Refugee Fund where financial assistance was made for refugees in distress. She is the Director of Business Development at Iyanilla Bricks.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane Became The Public Prosecutor In 2016
Having achieved greatly in her formal duties and acquired certificates in various fields, Busisiwe is indeed a leadership figure. She was appointed by the former president Jacob Zuma in October 2016 as the Public Prosecutor of the country. This position has made her face many controversies following the job designation. She pockets R2.3 million annually as her take-home salary and is to receive R40.2 million on her completion of tenure.
Busisiwe’s Many Positions Have Garnered Her Much Controversies
Having held many high professional positions and still serving best in her position as the 4th Public Prosecutor of South Africa, Busisiwe Mkhwebane has not been left out in the many controversies which many politicians face. She was tagged unlawful, irrational, and reckless by the court following the alleged funding of President Ramaphosa‘s campaign by BOSASA in 2017. She lost the case as the President didn’t plead guilty in court to the allegation which some tagged as a means of settling a political score.
In June 2017, Busisiwe Mkhwebane asked the parliament to make changes to the constitution to nationalize the South African Reserve Bank, deny the bank its independence, and mandate to control inflation. This decision was made by the Public Prosecutor following consultation with Stephen Goodson, the former South African Reserve Bank Director, without consulting government economists and legal scholars. The SARB won the case against Busisiwe, trashing her order as a violation of power which she appealed. This also made the government lose a lot of money as well since they bore the legal cost.
In 2017, the Public Prosecutor released a report which demanded that ABSA Bank should pay R1.1 billion, following the apartheid deal that they had with SA Reserve bank. The court questioned Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office and integrity on finding out that she lied under oath and took action without proper investigation. Following this, the Constitutional Court ordered her to pay the legal cost of R900,000 which also made the public ask for her impeachment.
Busisiwe failed in her duties in May 2019 following the investigation of the Verde diary project in Free State. This made the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria order the Public Prosecutor to bear the legal cost as Judge Ronel Tolmay ruled the report made by her as unconstitutional and invalid before laying it aside.
The Public Prosecutor is no doubt carrying out her job without proper findings as to her report against the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, stating that the president should charge him for fraud concerning his former office as the Minister of Finance which was suspended. Pravin’s legal team countered the report which made her tag it a political struggle to bring down Pravin. The Gauteng Division Of High Court of South Africa, however, suspended the case in July 2019 as unclear and inconsistent.
On July 30, Busisiwe Mkhwebane implemented a remedial action in the horse racing company Phumelela Gaming and Leisure which the Public Prosecutor lost the court verdict to the racing company.
The National Assembly Has Questioned The Public Protector’s Capabilities
With all the unclear findings of the Public Prosecutor in many cases, her capability for the position she holds has been questioned by both the public and National Assembly. The former Supreme Court Judge, Bess Nkabinde, and senior advocates like Dumisa Ntsebeza and Johaan de Waal SC, were appointed by the National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise in November 2020 to an independent panel to find pieces of evidence sufficient enough to establish a fact that will facilitate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s impeachment.
In February 2021, the report was handed over to the parliament which stated that there were pieces of evidence that include crossing her limits in power to change the Constitution, the Public Prosecutor Act, and her inability to interpret the law. A committee was thus set up to question her capabilities to hold the position on 15 March 2021. Being a strong woman who doesn’t seem to accept defeat easily, she is seen fighting to retain her position as well as clear her name and gain the trust of the masses once again.
The Public Protector’s Net Worth
Busisiwe Mkhwebane has occupied a variety of offices over the years, including her current position as Public Protector of South Africa. Her salary in these positions has been the main source of her net worth that is estimated to be between $1 million and $5 million. It is not clear if she has her hands in any other businesses that have contributed to her wealth but it would not be far-fetched to find out so.