Home South African Public protector ’living in fear of hitman’

Public protector ’living in fear of hitman’

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Hitman allegedly alerted Public Protector’s Office that he was “coming for” advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

PUBLIC Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane says her office received a strange phone call from a man claiming that he was hired to kill her.

The alleged threat comes two weeks after a senior investigator in the Public Protector’s Office survived a hail of bullets. The investigator declined to be named.

The public protector in South Africa is one of six independent state institutions, set up by the country’s Constitution, to support and defend democracy. According to the Constitution, they must be impartial and must exercise their powers and perform their functions without fear, favour or prejudice.

Mkhwebane confirmed to Independent Media that she lives in fear after a man – who claimed to be an assassin from the Eastern Cape – contacted her office numerous times. He allegedly alerted the office that he was “coming for” Mkhwebane.

The public protector’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, said that a man claimed that a price had been put on the public protector’s head.

“An Eastern Cape man contacted the office a number of times on Friday, August 20, 2021, claiming that hitmen were hired to carry out the hit. He did not say why. The claim has been brought to the attention of the SAPS VIP Protection unit for investigation,” said Segalwe.

According to Mkhwebane, the hitman indicated that they were supposed to travel from the Eastern Cape to Gauteng on Monday, August 16.

Mkhwebane said that although she and her staff live in fear, she has no plan to slow down in holding those in power accountable for corruption.

She added that it was clear that those being investigated for serious misconduct were upset.

“We are resolute to soldier on, but I am very worried about the safety of all staff. My chief of staff has been in hospital for two months now. We need more hands on deck,” said Mkhwebane.

In another case, a senior investigator was shot and wounded by an unknown assailant at around 6pm on Saturday, August 14 in Silverton, Pretoria.

“The attacker struck while the investigator sat in his car, not far from the Silverton Police Station, and opened fire on him. The car was stationary at the time of the attack. He was hit several times in the lower body and was later admitted to hospital, where he underwent an operation. The attacker did not demand money, his valuables, or the car,” said Segalwe.

Segalwe disclosed that a case had been opened with the Silverton police.

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