19 June 2017

South Africa: Mkhwebane to Oppose Zuma's State of Capture Review Application

A legal battle between President Jacob Zuma and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on state capture is looming.Mkhwebane announced on Monday that she intended opposing Zuma's judicial review application into state capture.

In 2016, Zuma filed an application at the High Court in Pretoria seeking a review and sought to set aside the former Public Protector's report on state capture.

"When we met the last time, I said I was still taking a legal opinion. Yes, we will be opposing the judicial review application," she said, adding that they were still finalising the process of collating all the necessary evidence that the president required in terms of Rule 53.

"We were also still finalising signatures by various council on the confidentiality clause; so we are at that stage. I am opposing the review by the President, including the minister [Mosebenzi] Zwane and [Des] Van Rooyen because they have also applied for a judicial review to set aside the whole report," said Mkhwebane during a press conference in Pretoria, where she released findings into four investigations.

The findings which she revealed on Monday did not include those relating to #GuptaLeaks.

Mkhwebane stated that it was not true that she was sitting on four Gupta related reports, as reported in the media.

"There aren't reports. There is one complaint we received which was lodged by a DA member [David Maynier] during the Gupta [Waterkloof] landing and that particular report was still under investigation, it was received in 2013.

"The former public protector wrote to Mr Maynier in August 2013, to say that she decided only to investigate the complaint by Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, that she was not treated fairly during the SAPS cluster during the investigation, and that its failure to do so was in her detriment. The investigation was done and there is a closing report which is being compiled by the office. The said complainant is even retired and found that she was no longer implicated.

"I think we will give the full details to the complainant and the original complainant, Mr Maynier. He was informed then, that we would be proceeding with the complaint by Lieutenant Colonel Anderson."

'Captured' by Constitution

Mkhwebane said she was concerned about the backlog of more than 4000 cases her office was investing in since 2011.

When asked if she had been captured by the "Zuma regime", Mkhwebane said, "I am captured by the Constitution, I am not captured by any person hence I am here to serve South Africans and not serve any political party or any person."Among other complaints her office was finalising were complaints against the Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini. It was alleged that there was illegal appointment of staff service providers and fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the awarding of a security services contract to Vucco Security Services and Cycle 7, by the SA State Security Agency (Sassa).

She said she was also looking into a complaint involving The New Age and the tenders which it was awarded by the SABC.

"There was a complaint received in 2014 and there were allegations of maladministration and fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the SOE's funding The New Age TNA Breakfast Briefing on the Morning Live sections."

Mkhwebane said she had recently received responses from the SABC's interim board.

"They have responded to our questions, and therefore, we will be finalising this report, it is one of the reports that we are in the final stages of finalising."

She released her findings into the CIEX saying that she was referring the matter to the Special Investigations Unit and that it was now the unit's responsibility to recover R1.125bn in which the Absa Bank allegedly benefited unlawfully. Mkhwebane said alleged misappropriation of public funds should be investigated.

Mkhwebane also released her report on the murders at KwaZulu-Natal's Glebelands Hostel.

She found that the eThekwini Municipality, its metro police department, the police and the department of social development had failed the residents and thus constituted their conduct as improper and maladministration.

Source: News24

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