I was thinking about the poor children – Mkhwebane on tweet over Pauw’s book
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has come under fire for a tweet in which she discourages the purchase of Jacques Pauw’s new book‚ The President’s Keepers.
On Friday afternoon‚ advocate Vuyani Ngalwana SC tweeted: “Yho! I wasn’t going to read the Pauw book. But now I’m interested. At least I have a discerning disposition and can tell rubbish from fact.”
His tweet came just hours after it emerged the State Security Agency had sent Pauw and the publisher of the explosive book a cease and desist letter‚ accusing them of “compromising state security” and demanding the book be recalled and certain parts withdrawn within five days.
The South African Revenue Service also announced it was considering taking legal action for what it called violations of the Tax Administration Act in Pauw revealing details of President Jacob Zuma’s tax affairs.
Mkhwebane replied: “And fall into the trap of increasing sales for certain individuals don’t think it’s a wise move SC‚ boleka from oyithengile (borrow from a purchaser).”
And fall into the trap of increasing sales for certain individuals don’t think it’s a wise move SC , boleka from oyithengile— AdvBusisiweMkhwebane (@AdvBMkhwebane) November 3, 2017
Her tweet has been met with widespread condemnation.
“Please focus on protecting the public not telling us what to read and what not to read‚ I will buy myself a copy immediately‚” wrote Langutani N’wamba.
Another user tweeted: “Yazi‚ your supporters do a lot to paint you as uncaptured. But you fail them at every turn. You’re not a protector of the public.”
Mkhwebane later blocked former Radio 702 host and author Redi Thlabi after she asked her on Twitter: “Should u (sic) as PP take position on Pauw’s book? Surely you can’t promote or not promote its sale? Have u (sic) investigated and decided on its contents?”
Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Cleopatra Mosana said the tweet was sent in a “particular context after the Public Protector had visited a grassroots area in Mbazwana”.
Mbazwana is a poverty stricken rural area in northern KwaZulu-Natal‚ near the Mozambique border. Mkhwebane had visited a school there on Friday where classrooms are actually shacks into which learners are crammed.
“Seeing poverty daily and [the] recent visit to Mbazwana…money should be put to good use to support a poor child‚” Mosana said.
“We do a lot of road shows and we are exposed to people who are living in poor conditions. And that is why in the recent past she has said that corruption knows no colour. Because if people are stealing from the poor‚ anyone‚ whoever it is who steals‚ then those kids do not get the necessary facilities‚” Mosana said in a follow up conversation.
Ngalwana on Saturday echoed Mkhwebane’s sentiments. “A book like this shouldn't be for profit. It should be for the nation's education or information. I'll read the book but won't buy it‚” he tweeted.