Mkhwebane disappointed by Mabuyane's 'continued public display of conduct unbecoming'

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Busisiwe Mkhwebane,  Photo: Gallo Images
Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Photo: Gallo Images
  • Busisiwe Mkhwebane expressed concerns over continued attacks from Oscar Mabuyane because of her findings against him.
  • Mkhwebane cautioned Mabuyane to respect the oath of office he took.
  • Mabuyane allegedly attacked her office during an address to ANC supporters over the weekend. 

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is concerned over Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane's continued attacks because of her findings against him. 

In a statement on Tuesday, Mkhwebane said she wished "to register her disappointment at Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane's continued public display of conduct unbecoming of a person occupying his position".

She said:

Ever since the release last October of an investigation report in which Mabuyane, MEC Babalo Madikizela and the provincial ANC were found to have benefitted in the amount of R450 000, R350 000 and R280 000 respectively from the R1.1 million siphoned from provincial government coffers, Mr Mabuyane appears to be running a campaign to discredit not only the report but the work of the PPSA in general.

Mabuyane and Madikizela are now subject to a Hawks investigation following Mkhwebane's findings that they allegedly benefitted from about R1.1 million, which was meant for the memorial service of late struggle stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The provincial Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture paid the money to the Mbizana Local Municipality to help transport the public to the event.

READ | Mandela funeral scandal: Buffalo City stops paying legal fees of 4 former senior councillors

Mkhwebane said it was brought to her attention that Mabuyane had again taken a swipe at her findings and her office during an event, organised by the ANC in the Eastern Cape, to mark the 110th anniversary of the ANC in Ngcobo at the weekend. 

"For the record, Premier Mabuyane, along with MEC Madikizela, took the investigation report in question on review as he is entitled to. He also secured an interim interdict against the implementation of the remedial action, another move that the PPSA encourages.

"This approach alone suggested that Premier Mabuyane trusts in the courts to serve justice and believes in his version of events. It is not clear then why he appears bent on engaging in contemptuous conduct against the PPSA, instead of giving the courts the space and time to decide on the matter," Mkhwebane said. 

In October last year, the Bhisho High Court granted Mabuyane and Madikizela an interim interdict to stay Mkhwebane's remedial action, which stemmed from her investigation.

READ | Mkhwebane loses first round against EC political heavyweights

Mabuyane's court action was two-pronged. He sought an interim order to suspend the implementation of the remedial action taken by the Public Protector, pending the finalisation of the relief sought. He also wanted the Public Protector's report reviewed and set aside.

Mkhwebane called on Mabuyane to respect his oath of office, which is "to be faithful to, obey, respect, and uphold the Constitution of the Republic". 

"Part and parcel of respecting the Constitution are living up to the provisions of section 181 of the Constitution and, in particular, subsection 3 thereof, which enjoins other organs of state to support and assist independent constitutional institutions, such as the PPSA, in ensuring their independence, impartiality, dignity, and effectiveness," she said. 

Since the release of the findings, Mabuyane has described Mkhwebane's report against him as part of a smear campaign. 

While on the campaign trail last year, Mabuyane told ANC supporters in East London that the report was nothing more than a pushback from those who lost at the Nasrec conference.

He added that the public ought to be protected from Mkhwebane because of what he described as her "abnormal" behaviour. 

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