No word from Cabinet on Public Protector reports, Zuma's spy claims

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Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

It's been a tumultuous week in South African politics.

The continued fallout over the Public Protector's reports on Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well former presidentJacob Zuma's testimony about spies and a plot to get rid of him before the state capture commission, played deep into the week.

However, Cabinet discussed none of it at its meeting on Wednesday, according to Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, who briefed the media on Thursday about the outcomes of the meeting.

He said they did not discuss Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's reports and added that they never felt that they were under attack from Mkhwebane.

He also said they didn't discuss any investigations or the state capture commission of inquiry.

READ MORE | Corruption Watch asks Parliament to urgently conduct inquiry into Public Protector

But one of the things the Cabinet did discuss, was the report of the presidential expert advisory panel on land reform and agriculture.

"Cabinet received the final report from the presidential expert advisory panel on land reform and agriculture. President Ramaphosa appointed the panel in September 2018 to provide a unified policy perspective on land reforms. The report makes findings on the current status quo and makes recommendations that will assist in accelerating the work of government in redressing the historical land distribution imbalances," reads a Cabinet statement.

"Cabinet directed that all ministers, through their respective departments, must study the report and its proposed recommendations and revert to Cabinet within two months. The inter-ministerial committee on land reform, chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza, will oversee this process."

READ MORE | Zondo commission: Mbalula 'ready 24/7' to testify if called upon after Zuma claims

Mthembu said Cabinet extended its gratitude for the work done the panel, chaired by Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati , did and approved that the report be made accessible to the public. 

He didn't want to delve into the contents of the report because Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza and the panel will hold a separate media briefing to unpack its contents on Sunday.

He said the report would not influence Parliament's work on the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation.

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