The African National Congress (ANC) has condemned the “smear campaign” that the Democratic Alliance (DA) has launched against Busisiwe Joyce Mkhwebane.

DA earlier this week released a list of reasons why it believes the advocate is not a suitable replacement for Thuli Madonsela as Public Protector.

Saying that she is “simply not the best candidate”, DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach claims that Mkhwebane lacks experience, and that her previous employment by the Department of Home Affairs and the State Security Agency raises questions.

“In the absence of a logical explanation for what is seen as a demotion, the ineluctable conclusion is unfortunately that Ms Mkhwebane is on the payroll of the SSA,” says Breytenbach. “While this doesn’t make Ms Mkhwebane the worst candidate, it does not make her the best either.”

Meanwhile, the ANC has welcomed her nomination, saying that she does indeed possess all the necessary qualifications, experience and skills required to hold the position.

“These reckless dirty claims are being peddled with impunity without even providing a shred of evidence to back them,” says ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

Kodwa accused the DA of having a racist and anti-woman agenda, citing a lack of racial and gender diversity in the Western Cape provincial government.

“We wish to join all patriotic South Africans in condemning the party’s malicious political campaign, whose real intention is not only to assassinate the character of a qualified and highly capable woman but to also to tarnish the crucial institution supporting our democracy,” he says.

The DA is fearful that the wrong person in the position will allow “another Nkandla” to happen, and refuses to support her nomination.

The National Assembly has already confirmed Mkhwebane for the position, and the only thing left is for President Jacob Zuma to sign off on it.