AS IT HAPPENED: Mkhwebane calls for 'appropriate action' to hold Zille 'accountable' for colonialism tweets

2018-06-11 15:30

In one of several reports released by the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane says they have recommended remedial action that the Western Cape provincial legislature must take to hold Premier Helen Zille 'accountable' for controversial tweets about colonialism.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

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Last Updated at 04:10
11 Jun 15:48


11 Jun 15:28


From the Office of the Premier  


The office of the Premier has noted the finding made by Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in a press conference today.  

The Premier has not received the actual report, outlining the reasons for this finding.  

However, from what has been announced on television, the Premier is likely to take this report on judicial review.  

The Premier has already advised the public protector that, in her view, such a finding would be unlawful and irrational.

11 Jun 15:12

All the reports will be uploaded to the Public Protector's website and will be available for download.

11 Jun 15:11

11 Jun 15:10

11 Jun 15:08

Back to the matter of Helen Zille, Mkhwebane says "the response of the premier was received, the 15th of March 2018, where the premier indicated that my conclusion that her tweets gave rise to the constitutional and statutory infringements will amount to and represent an 'arbitrary and irrational decision' which will not withstand judicial review [and] scrutiny".

Mkhwebane: "So the premier felt that it was within her rights to tweet like that because in terms of the Constitution, she has freedom of expression..."

So that was her view, Mkhwebane says, that she had done nothing wrong. 

11 Jun 15:03

Mkhwebane answers a question about Malusi Gigaba's fitness to hold office, and briefly touches on the matter of state capture.

11 Jun 15:01

Mkhwebane fields a question about the Parliamentary portfolio committee meeting that she missed... says it was not going to discuss her fitness to hold office.

11 Jun 14:56

On the Zille matter - Remedial action recommended by the Public Protector: The Speaker of the WC provincial legislature must (within 30 days from the date of this report) table the report before the WC provincial legislature "for it to take appropriate action to hold the premier accountable as contemplated" in the Constitution.

11 Jun 14:53

11 Jun 14:51

Mkhwebane now dealing with a report lodged against Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.

Deals with the tweets by Zille that mentioned colonialism.

Mkhwebane: "The tweet has brought back a lot of pain and suffering to the victims of apartheid and colonialism in South Africa."

11 Jun 14:49

Mkhwebane now mentions a report dealing with the deputy speaker of the Limpopo provincial legislature, where it was alleged that he incurred an exorbitant mobile telephone bill during a trip to America.

Mkhwebane mentions an article that alleged he incurred a telephone bill of R125 000. 

11 Jun 14:48

11 Jun 14:40

11 Jun 14:40

Mkhwebane rapidly rattling through the list of reports: "The other matter is Masibi vs the City of Tshwane metropolitan municipality..." which dealt with allegations of maladministration. 

11 Jun 14:36

The first report mentioned deals with tender irregularities in a Northern Cape municipality. Mkhwebane says remedial action and recommendations have been implemented.

11 Jun 14:33

Mkhwebane now turns to the reports at hand - says there are seven, and the eighth one will be released tomorrow morning.

11 Jun 14:32

Mkhwebane mentions some of the high-profile complaints they've dealt with, which includes members of Parliament like Des van Rooyen and Lynne Brown.

11 Jun 14:30

11 Jun 14:29

11 Jun 14:28

Mkhwebane: "The end of this week will mark exactly 20 months since I walked into this office..."

Mkhwebane says they have had a "total workload of 25 288 complaints", of which 21 176 complaints have been finalised

11 Jun 14:28

11 Jun 14:28

11 Jun 14:25

Mkhwebane says she is now reading from a "landmark judgment" by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng... speaks of helping the poor, and those at grassroots level.

11 Jun 14:21

Mkhwebane says she will be releasing reports for the first quarter of the 2018/2019 financial year, as is her duty set out in the Constitution.

11 Jun 14:20

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has finally arrived, and the briefing has commenced. Three reports are on the table.

11 Jun 14:04

11 Jun 14:00

11 Jun 13:58

11 Jun 13:58


Makhosi Khoza: Mkhwebane has been a huge disappointment 

Makhosi Khoza, who chaired the ad hoc committee that appointed the Public Protector in 2016, has admitted that Busisiwe Mkhwebane's performance in office has been disappointing.

Khoza was speaking on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse's (OUTA) announcement of the opening of its Parliament engagement office in Cape Town.

She joined the organisation to head local government strategy. Her first day was on Friday, June 1. 

Former ANC MP Khoza told News24 that she understood the general "regret" expressed by some opposition parties over Mkhwebane's appointment, notably the EFF's admission.

Mkhwebane raised the ire of the Portfolio Committee on Justice on Wednesday after informing MPs in an eleventh-hour letter that she would not attend a scheduled meeting due to a "family emergency". 

11 Jun 13:58


Mkhwebane explains why she didn't send delegation to Parliament 

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has attempted to clarify her reasons for not sending a delegation to Parliament on Wednesday in her stead, after she requested a late postponement due to a "family emergency".

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice was due to hear from Mkhwebane on her office's policy around appointing special advisors, as Mkhwebane had done recently, as well as to consider a renewed request to institute an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

MPs were left fuming after Mkhwebane requested a postponement of their meeting to June 21 or July 5, in a letter sent at 17:00 on Tuesday.

MPs were especially upset that a delegation was not arranged beforehand, nor a soft copy of her presentation sent, as those processes were usually confirmed a few days in advance.

11 Jun 13:58


Renewed Public Protector inquiry discussions delayed after Mkhwebane no-show 

Parliament's justice portfolio committee has agreed to wait until next week before deciding whether to accede to renewed calls for an inquiry into Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane was due to appear before the committee on Wednesday to explain to MPs the policy around appointing a special adviser to her office.

Also on the agenda was a renewed call by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen for the committee to consider establishing an inquiry into Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office.

Mkhwebane, however, indicated that she could not attend the meeting to explain the first item due to a "family emergency".

MPs did not take kindly to the late hour at which Mkhwebane notified the committee, having sent the letter at 17:00 on Tuesday. 

11 Jun 13:58


MPs fume as Mkhwebane requests late postponement of meeting 

MPs on Parliament's justice portfolio committee were left fuming after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane requested the late postponement of a planned meeting on Wednesday due to a "family emergency".

Mkhwebane was due to appear on Wednesday to explain to MPs the policy around the appointment of a special adviser to her office.

However, committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga read out a letter sent at 17:00 on Tuesday that said Mkhwebane could not attend due to a "family emergency" and was requesting a postponement to June 21.

Motshekga said it was "by chance" they received the letter in time, given that it was acknowledged after hours.

Emergency aside, Motshekga said it was protocol for a delegation to be set up and a list of the names of those in the delegation to be sent to the committee. Mkhwebane's report was also supposed have been sent well in advance. 

11 Jun 13:58


Public Protector warns Eastern Cape DG after being branded 'idiotic'

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Monday cautioned Eastern Cape provincial government director general, Marion Mbina-Mthembu, that insulting her office could land her in hot water, with a fine or even a jail term.

Mbina-Mthembu was in the process of taking part of the Public Protector's findings in the Nelson Mandela funeral investigation on judicial review.

Mkhwebane welcomed this move, saying it was in line with case law on her office's powers, "in particular the provision that the institution's remedial action is binding unless reviewed and set aside by a court of law".

However, she was disappointed that Mbina-Mthembu had branded her in the media as "idiotic", following the finding that the province misused R300m of the state's money for the funeral. 

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