Public Protector closes 13 reports, clears Western Cape health MEC on birthday celebration

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Jan Gerber, News24, file
  • Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has closed 13 reports which were found to be unsubstantiated. 
  • Mkhwebane has cleared Nomafrench Mbombo on allegations that she received benefits or sponsorships during a special birthday. 
  • She has also closed her investigation into Eskom, McKinsey and payments made to Trillion Capital. 

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has closed 13 reports, including an investigation into allegations that Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo received benefits or sponsorship during a special birthday celebration in 2016.

Mkhwebane delivered her findings into 35 investigations during a briefing in Pretoria on Monday. 

"I concluded that the MEC did not receive any benefit, gift or sponsorship as contemplated in the Executive Ethics Code for or in respect of the function that was held at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Cape Town on 10 September 2016," Mkhwebane said.

Mkhwebane closed the investigations because some had been found to be unsubstantiated, while others were dealt with in other forums. 

She also closed her investigation into allegations of maladministration and improper conduct in connection with a Master Service Agreement entered into between Eskom and McKinsey Company Incorporated, as well as payments made to Trillian Capital and Partners.

She said the matter had been referred to the state capture inquiry, adding that the High Court had also made a ruling on it. 

Mkhwebane also looked into allegations of improper conduct, abuse of power and/or maladministration during the probe into former acting SARS chief operations Jonas Makwakwa's financial affairs by the Financial Intelligence Centre and the tax body.

She, however, closed the report after finding that the allegations were unsubstantiated. 

In a separate matter, Mkhwebane had also investigated allegations of corruption, procurement irregularities and maladministration within the Department of Water and Sanitation.

READ | Public Protector judgment: implications for Parliament 

She found that the department had irregularly procured System Application and Product (SAP) licences for itself and the Water Boards.

The complaint was lodged by former secretary general of the EFF Godrich Gardee in 2017, Mkhwebane said.

"Gardee alleged that an anonymous letter was submitted to the EFF in connection with alleged corruption and procurement irregularities within the department, whereby several... 20... allegations were made in relation to the purchasing of the System Application and Product (SAP) licences," Mkhwebane said.

"According to him, it was alleged that the SAP licences were purchased for both the department and Water Boards. The department had existing licences that could accommodate additional users, but proceeded to procure new ones, and the licences for the Water Boards were procured on their behalf without their consent or needs analysis being conducted."

Mkhwebane said she had focused her investigation on whether the department had irregularly procured the SAP licences for itself and on behalf of the Water Boards, and found that the allegation was substantiated.

As part of the remedial action, Mkhwebane directed the director-general to "ensure that any future Information and Communication Technology procurement is aligned with the requirements of the Constitution, the State Information Technology Act, the relevant Treasury Regulations and departmental policies".  

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