JOHANNESBURG Oct 6 South African President
Jacob Zuma approved a new anti-graft watchdog on Thursday, hours
before the outgoing investigator will question him about
allegations his wealthy business friends influenced political
Zuma signed off on parliament's choice of Busisiwe Mkhwebane
as the next public protector, replacing Thuli Madonsela, whose
high-profile investigation into improper state spending on
Zuma's private home has won her popular respect. Her term ends
Madonsela will quiz Zuma on Thursday over accusations the
Gupta family played a role in selecting cabinet members and used
their relationship with the president to gain favour in terms of
government tenders, payments and licenses.
The Gupta family became household names in South Africa
after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said they had
offered to secure him his boss's job.
Mkhwebane, a lawyer who recently held a position at the
State Security Agency, was nominated by 60 percent of lawmakers
in a vote last month.
Opposition MPs from the Democratic Alliance voted against
her appointment saying she had connections to Zuma.
But the Economic Freedom Fighters, who have been fiercely
anti-Zuma under the leadership of the president's former protege
Julius Malema, supported Mkhwebane's nomination.
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Joe Brock and