South Africa: After the Gordhan Job, Mkhwebane Absolves David Mabuza

David Mabuza in the National Assembly (file photo).
analysis

When Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released her latest batch of reports last Friday, most attention was devoted to her controversially damning findings on former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. But her other two interesting reports released at the same time investigated financial misconduct stemming from the office of the then-Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza - and cleared him of all wrongdoing.

When deputy president David Mabuza appeared before the ANC's Integrity Commission on Friday, he might have had at least two official documents to brandish in his defence.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's reports into two instances of financial irregularities involving the Mpumalanga government under Mabuza's watch as provincial Premier have cleared Mabuza of violating the Executive Ethics Code.

Unfortunately for Mabuza, however, the matters being investigated by Mkhwebane in these cases were relatively trivial - at least when compared with the allegations against him carried in an August 2018 New York Times investigation, which accused him of massive corruption and vote-buying in his home province.

Mkhwebane's first investigation was limited to the procurement of three luxury vehicles for the use of the former Mpumalanga premier in January 2014. A complaint was laid with the Public Protector's office that same month by the...

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