Paul O’Sullivan apologises to Mkhwebane for “Zuptoid” comments

Busisiwe Mkhwebane - Paul O’Sullivan apologises to Mkhwebane for “Zuptoid” comments

The scuffle between private forensic investigator, Paul O’Sullivan and the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has reached another level of petty.

As reported by The Citizen, O’Sullivan has conceded to the threats of Mkhwebane and submitted an apology for describing the Public Protector as a Zuptoid.

Related: Pravin Gordhan vs Busisiwe Mkhwebane: Their war of words just got ugly

Why Paul O’Sullivan called Mkhwebane a Zuptoid

This all stems from an interview O’Sullivan conducted with the referenced publication in February. In it, the forensic investigator accused Mkhwebane of being a Zuptoid that “does the bidding of the Zuptas.”

In response to this, the Public Protector’s office issued a notice O’Sullivan, warning him to submit an apology within seven days or face charges for contravening Section 11 (1) of the Public Protector’s Act which stipulates that any person found guilty of insulting the public protector would be fined as much as R40 000 or get a 12-month jail sentence.

According to the Public Protector’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, the forensic investigator obliged and opted to avoid a jail bid for allegedly being rude to Mkhwebane.

“O’Sullivan retracted his slandering of (Mkhwebane) and apologised.

“He acknowledged that his were ‘disparaging’ remarks against the public protector, explaining that he had not been aware that the Public Protector Act 23 of 1994 outlawed such conduct,” he noted.

Related: John Steenhuisen hammers Busisiwe Mkhwebane, as DA apply for her removal

O’Sullivan scoffs off apology, vows to challenge Act

However, in a turn of events, O’Sullivan revealed that the apology was a mere formality to allow himself room to challenge the Public Protector Act in court.

The forensic investigator shot down his insulting remarks stating that, if she was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma, then that, by merit, made her a Zuptoid.

“I only retracted and apologised to avoid litigation. I have since decided to take the section of the Act on review, as it is patently unlawful, as is clear form my e-mail thread. Mkhwebane will be served in due course with the relevant court application,” he said.

O’Sullivan said that he will approach the High Court to submit an application to review the clause that prohibits people from making insulting remarks about the Public Protector.

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