Public must be protected from 'abnormal' Public Protector, claims Oscar Mabuyane

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Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.
  • Under fire Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has described advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report against him as part of a smear campaign. 
  • Mabuyane told ANC supporters in East London the report was nothing more than a pushback from those who lost at the Nasrec conference.
  • Mkhwebane says she is disappointed by the comments and dismissed allegations she was involved in ANC factional battles.     

The public must be protected from Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane because of her "abnormal" behaviour, Eastern Cape Premier and provincial ANC chairman Oscar Mabuyane has said.

This in the wake of him being implicated in one of her reports. 

Mabuyane was speaking to ANC supporters in Duncan Village, East London, while he was on the campaign trail this week. 

The address was captured on cellphone camera footage that is doing the rounds on social media. 

The statement comes after a report by Mkhwebane which implicates Mabuyane and Babalo Madikizela, the ANC provincial treasurer and public works MEC in the province, in corruption.

The report has led to the two bigwigs being the subject of a Hawks investigation. 

READ Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane seeks to interdict Hawks' probe against him

Mkhwebane tabled a report on Friday in which she noted the two politicians 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.

Mabuyane, who has since approached the High Court to block the Hawks investigation, ripped into Mkhwebane, accusing her of creating a wind that will ultimately turn into a tornado and backfire on her. 

He charged:

The public must be protected from that Public Protector. The reason she always loses court cases, is because she doesn't behave in a normal way. I will meet her in court where she will answer to the judge.

In one of her recent losing streaks, the North Gauteng High Court threw out Mkhwebane's 2018 report in the affairs of the Universal Service and Access Agency of SA in June.

In May, she lost her bid to challenge the invalidation of the so-called SARS rogue unit report and the 15% personal costs order.

ALSO READ Eastern Cape ANC wants Premier Mabuyane, MEC Madikizela to answer to integrity commission

Also in May, the Labour Court ruled against her in a dispute involving two staffers.

Mabuyane added he would not be distracted by Mkhwebane's report. 

"My work is to focus and improve the ANC in this province to ensure unity. I will move forward working for the ANC. So, my ANC people must go on with their work."

In the video, Mabuyane, a close ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa, described the case against him as part of a pushback from the faction that was defeated by his CR17 grouping at the Nasrec conference in 2017. 

"We don't regret the Nasrec conference. We went there with a mission to face corruption head-on, to enforce rebirth of the ANC and to fight corruption and to rid the government of corruption. We expected this pushback."

Earlier this week, Mkhwebane hit back at allegations of factionalism and the timing of her report ahead of the municipal elections.

She said:

The office does not stop exercising its powers or performing its functions merely because an election is approaching.

Mabuyane described the case as part of a campaign to smear everyone in the party with corruption.

He claimed in 2019 he gave Mkhwebane evidence but she ignored it.  

ALSO Eastern Cape EFF opens corruption case against Premier Oscar Mabuyane, Babalo Madikizela

Mabuyane also implied the case against him would not lead to anything.

Mkhwebane had found R450 000 of the money meant for Madikizela-Mandela's memorial allegedly went toward renovations to Mabuyane's Bunker's Hill private home in East London. 

She also found Babalo Madikizela had allegedly benefitted to the value of R350 000.

The amount was allegedly paid into the FNB account of IPM Plant Hire CC - a private company owned by his wife, Zona Zetu Siyazithanda Madikizela.

Babalo Madikizela is Madikizela-Mandela's relative and both come from Mbhongweni Village in Mbizana. 

About R288 000 of the memorial funds was apparently paid into the ANC's fundraising account, Mkhwebane found.  

Both Madikizela and Mabuyane have denied stealing public funds as implied in the report.  

Mkhwebane described Mabuyane's comments as baseless, saying her office stood by its report and was disappointed by the comments.  

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