Inside the Public Protector's office: Mkhwebane asks NPA to probe Gordhan over SARS 'rogue unit'

2019-07-10 17:04

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane appeared in Parliament to brief the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on her office’s annual performance plan and budget.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane

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Last Updated at 06:53
10 Jul 17:18

Chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe adjourned the proceedings before telling Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane "it doesn't mean we don't like you".

Dressed in red, she nodded and smiled.

Magwanishe's closing remarks: "Don't get worried. It is in the nature of this environment that sometimes it gets hot. It is not that we don't like you. We always enjoy interaction with our entities and sometimes it gets robust but it is part of the oversight and as long as we stick within the law, it is okay.

"What we intend doing, we have been saying to all our entities that report to us, is that we want to scale up our oversight and engagements especially in this 6th administration.

"As a result we will be dividing ourselves into sub-committees because we want to balance our legislative work of legal drafting with our oversight.

"Where we can lend a hand, we will do so to ensure that the work of our entities are enhanced."

Track how the briefing unfolded:

10 Jul 16:47

10 Jul 16:43
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has confirmed that she has sent her adverse findings against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to the National Director of Public Prosecutions and to the Commissioner of SA Police to investigate any criminality in the matter.

10 Jul 16:37

10 Jul 16:36
EFF MP Thilivhali Mulaudzi once again asks Mkhwebane if she forwarded her findings relating to Pravin Gordhan for further investigation

10 Jul 16:28

"I am heading into the sun set. My term ends in five months," says Deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga.

He says there has been no framework in place for his pension.

10 Jul 16:20
Public Protector CFO Yalekile Lusibane says financial statements submitted to the Auditor-General indicate that the office of the Public Protector is now solvent.

10 Jul 16:18
Public Protector CEO Vussy Mahlangu says that the institution has been a victim of budget cuts, which necessitated austerity measures 

10 Jul 16:13
Mkhwebane says that her office is willing to sit down with institutions, including ministers related to her reports. However, this depends on co-operation from those involved.

10 Jul 16:10

10 Jul 16:02

10 Jul 15:57
Mkhwebane says her office can investigate money laundering but criminal conduct is referred to the relevant authorities for further investigation

10 Jul 15:52

10 Jul 15:52
Mkhwebane says 16 of the 30 cases under review predated her tenure as Public Protector

10 Jul 15:50
We operate in a political space but we are never influenced by it, says Mkhwebane

10 Jul 15:48

10 Jul 15:47
This is not the "day or platform" to debate the competency of Mkhwebane, says Ndlozi.

10 Jul 15:45
Ndlozi wants to know who in Treasury has refused to give funds to the Public Protector

10 Jul 15:43
Ndlozi says that the allegation mentioned about a member of the executive levelling allegations against the Public Protector delving into politics comes from Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

10 Jul 15:35

ANC MP Richard Dyantyi says this is a presentation by a Public Protector who is "very angry and aggrieved".

He says Mkhwebane should've just made a statement and not brought her "issues" to the portfolio committee. Dyantyi noted he is "disappointed" at the Public Protector's "irrelevant offloading".

10 Jul 15:33
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, seated next to her deputy Kevin Malunga for their first appearance before the newly-constituted Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services.

10 Jul 15:29

EFF MP Thilivhali Mulaudzi asks if the Public Protector was able to pay all the costs that caused the office to be called "technically insolvent".

He also wants to know if the "rogue unit" matter has been referred to the NPA

ICYMI: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report with adverse findings against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. One of Mkhwebane's findings was that the so-called "rogue" unit established in 2007 when Gordhan was commissioner of the SA Revenue Service was unlawful.

10 Jul 15:25

ACDP MP Steve Swart wants to know which cases will be litigated on and where the funding will come from.

"Is the office of the Public Protector funding the litigation?" asks Swart.

10 Jul 15:22
DA MP James Selfe wants to know how much taxpayer money has been budgeted to the Public Protector's office for litigation as her report into the so-called rogue unit will inevitably be taken to court

10 Jul 15:21
DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach says she is interested in who is funding the personal cost order against the Public Protector

10 Jul 15:21
ANC MP and portfolio committee member Xola Ngola asks if the Public Protector is influenced by the politics of the day

10 Jul 15:20

More on Deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga:

He obtained a BA Law Degree from the University of Swaziland, LLB from the University of Natal, LLM from Georgetown University

He was appointed Madonsela's deputy in December 2012

Malunga was briefly the spokesperson for the Marikana Judicial Commission of Inquiry

He was also acting chief of staff in the Office of the Chief Justice

10 Jul 15:05
Lusibane requests an additional R5m from the committee as "gratuity for the deputy public protector" who's term is ending soon

10 Jul 15:05

The total budget is more than R322m

R185m is budgeted for investigations

10 Jul 15:03
Chief Financial Officer Yalekile Lusibane is now outlining the 2019/2020 budget

10 Jul 14:55
Mahlangu says the 2019/2020 target is to finalise and publish 56 investigation reports by 31 March 2020

10 Jul 14:51

Mkhwebane says her office has received just under 50 000 complaints

She notes that the number of review applications has been on an upward trend since the Constitutional court judgment in March 2016 that ruled her office's remedial action as binding

The Public Protector says to date, some 30 reports she has issued have been taken on review, while another 70 have not been taken on review

10 Jul 14:48
However, she points out that when high courts make decisions, it is not accused of the sort of things that her office is accused of.

10 Jul 14:46
She says when her office takes "a decision they (Cabinet members) do not like", accusations of incompetence or factionalism are thrown at her.

10 Jul 14:43
Mkhwebane says high ranking members of the executive alleged her office has ventured into politics

10 Jul 14:42
The Public Protector says there has been a "debate" as to whether her office can investigate money laundering

10 Jul 14:39

10 Jul 14:37
Mkhwebane has started making her introductory remarks now

10 Jul 14:33

10 Jul 14:33
Have a look at this fact file released be the office of the Public Protector

10 Jul 14:18

Mkhwebane vs Reserve Bank: No sign of life at the ConCourt

There are no signs the Constitutional Court is preparing to deliver judgment in the case between Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and the South African Reserve Bank in the Absa-Bankorp lifeboat matter. Arguments were heard in November last year, almost eight months ago.

The spokesperson in the office of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Nathi Mncube, told News24 he does not have any notification on the case.

"It's not a government decision, the judges only share information among themselves. It would be improper for the judges to share information regarding a decision of theirs with anyone but themselves," he said. 

10 Jul 13:49

10 Jul 13:44

It's lose-lose as Mkhwebane backs Ramaphosa into a corner

The Public Protector is acting in a manner that shows that she not only doesn't fear political backlash from her controversial reports, but also does not fear any possibility that Parliament may remove her, writes Ralph Mathekga.

10 Jul 13:43

It is undeniable that Ramaphosa can no longer take a back seat and wait for court findings. He will have to act or face an internal revolt in the ANC over his failure to treat Gordhan as he has treated Zuma loyalists who also face serious allegations of maladministration and corruption, writes Kyle Cowan.

FIRST TAKE: Busisiwe Mkhwebane goes for broke on Pravin Gordhan

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has dealt Pravin Gordhan, the public enterprises minister and staunch ally of President Cyril Rampahosa a legal (and political) hammer blow. It is undeniable that Ramaphosa can no longer take a back seat and wait for court findings.

10 Jul 13:40

EXPLAINED: The Public Protector's findings and how they bind (and help) Ramaphosa, Gordhan

President Cyril Ramaphosa is involved in a bitter struggle with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane who has instituted various investigations into both the head of state and Pravin Gordhan, the minister of public enterprises and his most trusted reformist.

Both men are in a constitutional bind … but Mkhwebane has not covered all her bases.

10 Jul 13:37
The Office of the Public Protector has made headlines relating to an ongoing battle with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and her investigation into President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign for the ANC presidency in 2017.

10 Jul 13:26
This is Mkhwebane’s first appearance before the newly constituted justice committee.

10 Jul 13:26
The Public Protector is in terms of Section 181(5) of the Constitution, accountable to the National Assembly and reports to the Assembly on its activities and the performance of its functions at least once a year.

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