Mkhwebane 'pleased' with High Court ruling affirming her Mandela funeral report

2019-03-09 11:45
Busisiwe Mkhwebane, openbare beskermer. Foto: Argief

Busisiwe Mkhwebane, openbare beskermer. Foto: Argief (Foto: Argief)

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The High Court Eastern Cape Division has affirmed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's recommendations regarding the plundering of public resources in the name of the funeral and memorial services of the late former President and struggle stalwart, Nelson Mandela by the Eastern Cape's provincial government.

The province's Director-General Marion Mbina-Mthembu had asked the court to have Mkhwebane's findings reviewed and set aside, but lost the bid and her case was dismissed.

This now paves the way for the recommendations, which are binding by law, to be executed.

In December 2017, Mkhwebane released her 333-page report into the misappropriation of public funds, improper conduct and maladministration by the provincial government and several other organs of state, including four municipalities, in connection with expenditure incurred for the funeral and memorial services.

READ: Public Protector survives vote in DA bid for probe to remove her

The investigation found, among other maladies, evidence of widespread irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the procurement of goods and services for the memorial and funeral. Such expenditure was found to have failed to meet the test of fairness, equity, transparency, competitiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Mkhwebane wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to set a proclamation for the the Special Investigating Unit to probe all those implicated, and charge those against whom evidence exists "so that taxpayers' money can be recovered".

Mbina-Mthembu's quarrel with the finding was the Public Protector's conclusion that the provincial executive committee took the decision to divert the funds on the DG's advice as the then head of the Provincial Treasury.

"At the time, Ms. Mbina-Mthembu called the Public Protector "idiotic", prompting advocate Mkhwebane to caution her for the use of demeaning language to express frustration with the conclusions of the investigation,"said acting spokesperson of the public protector, Oupa Segalwe.

"Adv. Mkhwebane is pleased that the court has affirmed her findings and welcomes this development as it paves the way for the full implementation of the remedial action she directed the various organs of state to take. She also welcomes the court's decision to award her the costs, which will go a long way in augmenting her meagre litigation budget," Segalwe added.

READ MORE: Mkhwebane takes on Mboweni over Treasury DG remarks

Mkhwebane said that taking her report on review has never meant that it was of poor quality, and likened it to the appeal of a court judgment.

"It is merely a legal avenue available to aggrieved parties, who believe another forum could arrive at a different decision," said Mkhwebane.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  busisiwe mkhwebane
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