Public protector shines light on FS

2017-04-12 06:02

The public protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, will release four reports investigating alleged irregularities amounting to R1 billion in several projects initiated by the Free State provincial government.

“The public protector’s office will release reports on the Mangaung Taxi Rank, the Vrede Dairy Project, Operation Hlasela and the Free State government website scandal at the end of April,” Mkwebane said at the Free State legislature in Bloemfontein.

Mkhwebane has been asked to probe alleged irregularities in the construction of the Mangaung taxi rank, which cost taxpayers R400 million.

Completed in 2009, the taxi rank remains a white elephant after taxi operators said the facility is defective and small.

Other outstanding reports include the R570 million Vrede Dairy Project and the R40 million Free State government website.

Lodged as far back as 2009, Mkwebane said delays in finalising cases were caused by large case backlogs in the public protector’s Free State office. On average, the provincial Office of the Public Protector investigates 200 cases per month and 2 000 cases a year.

Addressing various stakeholders, Mkhwebane mentioned several state-owned organs who do not cooperate with officials of the Chapter 9 institution in investigations.

Citing the Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, Mkhwebane’s office subpoenaed the municipal manager, Robert Tsupa, for failing to cooperate with her office.

“Several cases, including water- and electricity-related complaints, were instituted against the authority by locals,” said Kevin Malunga, the deputy protector.

Other state organs failing to cooperate with the public protector’s office include the municipalities of Matjhabeng and Mantsopa and the Department of Police, Roads and Transport.

Mkhwebane thanked the Mangaung Metro, the Setsoto Municipality and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) for working efficiently with her office.

The premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule, urged Mkhwebane to investigate farm evictions and warned political parties and the media not to “set the agenda for the Office of the Public Protector”.

Mokwebane said her office should be capacitated to investigate private sector complaints. Mentioning the death of Andries Tatane, the public protector encouraged state organs to establish their own internal complaints desk and create ombudsman options for various public sectors to avoid violent protests.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.