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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Ocean Basket-gate: Mkhwebane blames impeachment inquiry for Joemat-Pettersson’s death

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane released audio recordings supporting alleged bribery claims against three ANC MPs, including the late Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane addressed bribery, extortion and corruptions claims surrounding the Section 194 Inquiry into her fitness to hold office in an explosive “tell-all” media conference held on Tuesday, 13 June.

Mkhwebane opened the briefing at The Capital Hotel on The Park, in Sandton, by expressing her condolences to the family of late ANC MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who passed away at her Cape Town home on 5 June 2023.

WhatsApp messages, audio about alleged bribery

The suspended public protector said she is in possession of 90 WhatsApp messages between her husband, David Skosana, and allegedly Joemat-Pettersson.

She played audio recordings after the briefing of two separate meetings her husband reportedly had with Joemat-Pettersson at the Ocean Basket at Oliver Tambo International Airport.

At the first meeting, Joemat-Pettersson reportedly solicited a R600 000 bribe to make the inquiry “disappear”.

ALSO READ: NPA’s ID denies Tina Joemat-Pettersson was threatened with arrest over Mkhwebane ‘extortion’

Mkhwebane implicates ANC MPs

Mkhwebane claimed that Joemat-Pettersson was representing African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina and Section 194 Committee chairperson Qubudile Dyantyi, and demanded R200 000 each for herself, Dyantyi and Majodina.

“My husband pretended to play along, asking if he could pay R180 000 each, and planned to trap them with the WhatsApp messages and audio recordings,” she said.

Mkhwebane didn’t provide any evidence of Dyantyi and Majodina’s alleged involvement at the press briefing.

She, however, said her husband opened a criminal case of extortion against the three ANC MPs in what she labelled the “biggest corruption scandal ever to affect our judiciary at the highest level of our state and country”.

‘Predetermined outcome of impeachment inquiry’

The suspended public protector said some of the messages from Joemat-Pettersson suggested there was a predetermined outcome to her impeachment inquiry, which she claims has been triggered by her “31 questions” in her report about the theft at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala game farm on 9 February 2022.

She added that Joemat-Pettersson told “my husband twice that the courts are with Ramaphosa”.

“The real reason for my suspension was my complaint about the Phala Phala scandal. The objective to remove me illegally has thus been achieved,” she claimed.

According to Mkhwebane, she has shared the recordings and messages with the police and Hawks, as well as the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests to recuse Dyantyi from the inquiry.

She said the evidence will be left for the police investigation, but added that she has decided to share the messages and audio “as it is in the public interest”.

Watch: Mkhwebane on Richard Dyantyi

ALSO READ: ‘No other option’: Section 194 Committee draws the line with Mkhwebane after delays

Tina Joemat-Pettersson ‘might still have been alive’

She went as far as alleging that “if it wasn’t for the judiciary, ANC and DA coalition failing to act, Tina might still have been alive”.

Mkhwebane said her impeachment inquiry played a role in Joemat-Pettersson’s death.

In one of the meetings with her husband, Joemat-Pettersson apparently stated: “This process will kill me”.

Watch: Mkhwebane on Joemat-Pettersson’s death

Mkhwebane also divulged that she has laid a complaint on 25 May 2023 with the Judicial Service Commission for “gross misconduct” against nine Constitutional Court judges “who might be captured”.

‘Ramaphosa must account for abuse of power’

She said President Cyril Ramaphosa must be called to account for “abuse of power” in the Phala Phala saga.

She continued by claiming that all three arms of state – Cabinet, Parliament and courts – are involved in undermining her rights.

NOW READ: Opposition calls on NPA to charge Ramaphosa over Phala Phala saga