No evidence to back Mkhwebane's poisoning claims - police request medical report

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Tebogo Letsie/City Press
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Tebogo Letsie/City Press

Despite the allegation by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane of a poisoning attempt on one of her protectors, police have denied this, saying there is no evidence to back up the claim.

During a press briefing on Friday, Mkhwebane told media that she had received information about the attempt to poison a member of the VIP protection unit, assigned to look after her.

News24 reported that 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.

READ: Mkhwebane's protector poisoned, property tampered with

While police have launched an investigation into the claims, they have said that there is no evidence that gives credence to the claims.

“It is prudent to mention at the onset that at no stage did any member of the VIP Protection Unit make any report of ‘poisoning’ to police management,” national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.

“In fact, the first time such allegation or report came to light was when the Public Protector was quoted in the media.”

Naidoo said the member in question was immediately contacted following the media reports of the attempted poisoning, where it was established that the member did feel ill suffering from abdominal pains.

READ MORE: SARS and the 'rogue' unit – the ultimate guide

“He consulted a general practitioner and the initial prognosis was that the member may have picked up a stomach bug or ate something bad.

“He was then required to have some tests done for which he made a day visit to hospital.

“This too confirmed that it as nothing more than a stomach bug or possibly food that may not have agreed with his system. However, the member was not required to remain or be admitted to hospital for treatment,” Naidoo said.

With the investigation under way, police have requested both a medical report as well as a report from the member on this matter.

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