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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane 'clearly out of her depth and needs to go'

30 June 2020 10:09 AM
Tags:
Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

Casac's Lawson Naidoo explains the latest appeal she lost regarding the judgment that found Vrede Dairy report unconstitutional.

The latest legal blow against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane adds to her poor track record in court and once again brings into question her competence to hold such high office.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Monday dismissed Mkhebane's leave to appeal the 2019 judgement that ruled her Vrede Estina Dairy Farm report is unconstitutional and invalid.

Mkhwebane has to personally pay 7.5% of the legal costs.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) about yet another legal hammer blow to the Public Protector.

He says this goes back a number of years to when the Estina Dairy Farm Project was conceived in 2013 and was intended to benefit 100 black Free State farmers using a large portion of provincial funding.

As we now know, vast chunks of those funds were channeled to the Gupta family in various ways - and some of it found its way in paying for the infamous Gupta family wedding at Sun City.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac)

He explains that previous Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had completed a draft report about the complaint received in this regard after conducting an investigation before she left office.

The report was not finalised, and then Advocate Mkhwebane then took it over, and when she released her report in January 2018, that report was essentially a whitewash.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac)

Then Free State premier, Ace Magashule was told to discipline those officials in local government involved, but no fingers were pointed at politicians, explains Naidoo.

We know from the Gupta Leaks that people such as Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane were integrally involved in this project.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac)

It was on that basis that Casac had the report reviewed and set aside by the High Court.

Naidoo says Mkhwebane promised to investigate those politicians involved but two years down the line nothing is forthcoming.

It is quite clear that she has no real intention to pursue the investigation so the matter now rests with the law enforcement agencies - in particular the Hawks, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the NPA to ensure that those who stole public funds are held to account.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac)

The longer Advocate Mkhwebane remains in office the more she brings that office into disrepute.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac)

He says there have been many cases questioning her suitability to hold office, her capacity to hold office, her understanding of the law and the Constitution.

There is a two-stage parliamentary process in place to deal with this issue, he explains.

She's clearly out of her depth and needs to go. That's the long and the shirt of it and the quicker this parliamentary process is initiated and concluded the better it will be for constitutional governance in the country.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac)

Listen to the interview below:


30 June 2020 10:09 AM
Tags:
Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

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