Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
2 Oct 2019
3:15 pm

Mkhwebane lets Bathabile Dlamini off the hook, but nails McBride

Citizen Reporter

The public protector was expected to release a number of investigative reports on Wednesday, and has also found against Robert McBride.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Gallo Images

Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini has been let off the hook by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

She announced at a briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday that the allegation that Dlamini deliberately misled parliament about Cash Paymaster Services’s (CPS’s) inability to pay out grants could not be substantiated.

The complaint against Dlamini was brought by DA MP Bridget Masango.

The public protector, whose credibility has been dented by various judicial findings against her, has been tabling various investigative reports.

Mkhwebane also made a finding about alleged irregularities in recruitment processes and policies at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) when it was under Robert McBride, who has now thrown his name in the hat to become Mkhwebane’s deputy.

Mkhwebane found that it was substantiated that Theresa Botha was appointed in August 2017 on a salary of R657,558 per annum for a post that never existed before, and was not subjected to job evaluation as required by regulations governing Public Service.

Botha received a salary from Ipid in excess of R1,174,873, which Mkhwebane found amounted to cumulative and progressive irregular expenditure and was a violation of the Public Finance Management Act by McBride.

He has already indicated that he intends to take the “irrational” report on review since it is allegedly not factual.

“Although the report has not been made public, I have noted reports in the media that Mr Robert McBride will be taking the matter on review,” Mkhwebane said.

Another of the expected reports is related to the probe into contracts Eskom signed with renewable independent power producers.

However, she did not report back on this on Wednesday.

That complaint was lodged by a group called the Anti-Poverty Forum headed by Phapano Phasha. Phasha claimed the signing of the contracts did not make financial sense as they, in turn, had caused Eskom to lose money. One of the beneficiaries of the IPP contracts is African Rainbow Energy and Power, owned by Patrice Motsepe, who is the brother-in-law of former energy minister Jeff Radebe and Ramaphosa.

Another expected report was into the Gupta-linked Estina Dairy Farm project.

Fresh investigations were launched in April last year and were expected to be completed by August 2019.

(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)

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