Mkhwebane's protector poisoned, property tampered with

2019-07-05 17:15
Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Gallo Images, Phill Magakoe)

Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Gallo Images, Phill Magakoe)

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane told media at a briefing on Friday that she had received information of a poisoning attempt on one of her protectors.

Mkhwebane, who released a damning report against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, refused to disclose any further information on her claims, only saying some of her property had been tampered with.

Last month, Mkhwebane also inferred that her life was in danger.

"I am the servant of state, I expect government to protect me. We received protection from the South African Police Services," Mkhwebane said in an address to the South African Sheriff Society in Johannesburg.

Mkhwebane made another adverse finding against Gordhan, this time in relation to the establishment of the so-called "rogue unit" at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in 2007.

ALSO READ: SARS and the 'rogue' unit - the ultimate guide

At the time, Gordhan was the commissioner of SARS. He was appointed as minister of finance in 2009. 

Part of her recommendations for remedial action are that President Cyril Ramaphosa take appropriate disciplinary action against Gordhan within 30 days, for "violation of the Constitution and the Executive Ethics Code". And within 60 days, Mkhwebane said there must be a criminal investigation into Gordhan, former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay and the officials involved in the SARS intelligence unit - for violation of Section 209 of the Constitution and Section 3 of the National Strategic Intelligence Act - including former SARS commissioner Oupa Magashula for lying under oath. 

'I have faith in the president' 

She told journalist she had faith in Ramaphosa to institute disciplinary action against Gordhan. This comes after she cautioned the president when he ignored her initial report against the minister and instead reappointed him to his Cabinet. 

She said she could not dictate what form of action Ramaphosa should take against Gordhan, adding that the president would do the right thing. 

ALSO READ: Mkhwebane accuses Ramaphosa of failing to uphold Constitution in Gordhan matter - report

"I won't be dictating to the president. Ministers are appointed by the president and serve the president. It will depend on the president how they will view disciplining him. I wouldn't be prescriptive to him. 

"I have faith in the president. He knows he is the constitutional being, he needs to live and breathe the Constitution. He will do the right thing of disciplining Gordhan," she said. 

'I have no ulterior motives'

When asked if she was targeting individuals who were fighting against the capture of state, Mkhwebane denied this, saying those allegations had no basis. 

Last week, SACP leader Solly Mapaila and ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe accused Mkhwebane of playing in the political space. Mapaila went a step further, accusing Mkhwebane of being a "hired gun" for a rogue unit in the intelligence unit. 

ALSO READ: Mkhwebane slams Mapaila over 'hired gun' remarks

"I don't have any ulterior motives. I do my work objectively. There was no intention of influencing anything," she said. 

Last week, Mkhwebane wrote to Mapaila, asking him to apologise and withdraw his statements or face legal action. Mapaila had refused, she told journalists. 

She said she would now be instituting legal action against the SACP leader.

"We have written to him to retract. His attorneys responded that he is not willing to retract and we have instituted legal action," she said. 

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Read more on:    public protector  |  busisiwe mkhwebane
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