Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has rejected an accusation by Basani Baloyi, the fired chief operating officer of her office, that she played politics with her reports and was “playing chess with the country”.
Baloyi has approached the North Gauteng high court to get her job back and have the court declare that Mkhwebane abused her office and violated the constitution.
In an affidavit filed in response to the application, Mkhwebane said Baloyi was trying to create sensationalism around her dismissal, which she deemed to be fair.
She defended what Baloyi called a “disturbing” message, where Mkhwebane said she had to “play chess” in reference to the rogue unit investigation involving minister Pravin Gordhan.
“That is the nature of the inevitable chess game that comes with the territory of the office. Like a literal chess game, it features kings, queens, knights and no shortage of witting and unwitting pawns,” Mkhwebane told the court.
Baloyi said the message showed that Mkhwebane was playing a political game with her reports.