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Graphic: Wade Geduldt / African News Agency (ANA) – Mkhwebane has suffered a legal setback when her lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu withdrew from representing her in the ongoing parliamentary impeachment inquiry.

By Sihle Mavuso

In the week that was, suspended Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane returned to the Western Cape High Court to try to enforce a ruling that if successful, it would see her returning to her post immediately.

Also in the same week, the Phala Phala scandal which has entangled and bogged down President Cyril Ramaphosa for the past year continued to haunt him after former spy boss, Arthur Fraser reveal more shocking details of how the dollars were smuggled to the country.

We also saw the Hawks and NPA (National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) pouncing on Matshela Koko, the former acting chief executive of Eskom who left in February 2018. This means that more people implicated in alleged state capture may be arrested in the coming months.

Now we look back at the previous week and the political week ahead.

Briefly, the political week ahead is packed as ANC branches continue to nominate their preferred candidates for the upcoming elective conference. Their nominations will give a picture of who is likely to win the contest in December.

Provincial executive committees (PEC) announcements do not count as branches tend to go the other way. It must be remembered how ahead of the Polokwane conference, Eastern Cape and North West branches defied their PECs who were backing former president Thabo Mbeki and backed his nemesis, former President Jacob Zuma who went on to win the conference.

Mkhwebane litany of legal battles

Mkhwebane is determined to exhaust all legal avenues in order to go back to work after she was suspended by Ramaphosa early this year.

She insists that it is unfair for her not be returned to work while she is still waiting for the Constitutional Court to certify a ruling of the same court that her suspension was illegal.

During the same week, Mkhwebane suffered a legal setback when her lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu SC withdrew from representing her in the ongoing parliamentary impeachment inquiry.

Mpofu said he was pulling out because the chairperson of the parliamentary impeachment committee, Qubudile Dantyi’s conduct.

This was after Dyantyi said an adjournment application should not be granted. He argued that the committee had experienced too many stops and starts and this had led to a loss of momentum.

He said Mkhwebane’s accusation that a refusal of the adjournment application could only come from spite was “unfortunate and baseless”.

Without a legal representation, Mkhwebane’s hearing is likely to stall once again.

Zulu coronation and the continued fight for the throne by Prince Simakade

Pulling out all stops, the KwaZulu-Natal and national governments completed the coronation of Zulu King, Misuzulu KaZwelithini in Durban on Saturday by handing over his certificate of recognition.

The historic ceremony attracted the world’s attention and guests from all over the world came to witness it.

However, even though it looks like the king has fully taken the throne, Prince Simakade Jackson Zulu and his supporters are still not giving up in their fight. A day before the coronation, they showed up and announced their own event in November 6 in a venue yet to be announced.

Matshela Koko Arrest

Former Eskom acting CEO was last week arrested for alleged corruption during the construction of R2 billion Kusile power station in Mpumalanga.

Koko was arrested together with his wife and stepdaughter. Their arrests came after Koko’s name came up quite prominently during the state capture hearing to the extent that chief justice Raymond Zondo who chaired the process recommended that he be investigated.

The Hawks and the NPA followed through on that and nabbed him.

Defiant even when on the gallows, Koko laughed off his arrest, saying those who were celebrating must hold their horses as he would be cleared.

More Phala Phala revelations

Another day and another revelation regarding the Phala Phala scandal. Last week it emerged in a supplementary affidavit filed by Arthur Fraser that while everyone was battling Covid-19, Dr Bejani Chauke, an advisor to Ramaphosa, was smuggling dollars into the country.

The dollars were obtained from countries like Saudi Arabia and Chauke personally transported the money to Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

However, Chauke has disputed the claims by Fraser, saying he was fabricating information for some nefarious reasons.

Lesotho Prime inaugurated

After months of political instability, Lesotho has finally installed a government which is led by millionaire Premier, Sam Matekane, of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP), which won the most seats in the general elections held on October 7.

Matekane was sworn in by Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane to wild cheers from thousands of supporters at the event which he funded.

During his address, he pledged to introduce a raft of measures to “make Lesotho great again” by attracting investment and replenishing the government’s coffers, which are believed to be almost dry.

Tigray peace talks in South Africa

The two-year Tigray conflict in Ethiopia is currently halted and all indications are that it will end after negotiations between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray armed forces representatives, who were in South Africa for peace talks.

The peace talks were initiated by the African Union (AU) and South Africa was called upon to play host. Furthermore, the AU has asked former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta and former South African deputy president, Phumzile Mlambo Ngucka to be facilitators.

While the results are not known for now, it appears that the Tigray region insists on having the government forces completely withdrawn from their region. On the other hand, the government is insisting on complete disarmament.

The government’s tough stance is believed to be informed by the fact that before the negotiations started, it had made significant gains by pushing back the Tigray forces, thus gaining lost ground.

It also believes that if the fighting resumes, it will easily win the war.

Mavuso is a senior current affairs journalist at www.iol.co.za

This article was written exclusively for The African. To republish, see terms and conditions.