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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

Mkhwebane ‘was fully briefed’ on Sars probe

The PPSA investigating team did not check via an affidavit the authenticity of submissions by a whistle-blower.

Poking holes in earlier evidence by Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) senior investigator Bianca Sinqobile Mvuyana to the parliamentary committee for Section 194, evidence leader advocate Nazreen Bawa yesterday argued that PPSA relied on unverified submissions and recordings from whistle-blowers, on the SA Revenue Service (Sars) “rogue unit”, without authenticity being established.


In what appeared to be a backtracking – contradicting her earlier testimony that suspended public protector (PP) advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane had no involvement in the investigating process, probing the Sars unit and roles played by then tax commissioner Pravin Gordhan, executives Ivan Pillay and Johann van Loggerenberg – Mvuyana conceded under cross-examination Mkhwebane formed part of the team.

This, after earlier describing as “untrue” accusations Mkhwebane played any major role in the Sars probe and slating the 2020 scathing verdict by the High Court in Pretoria, which set aside the Mkhwebane’s findings on Sars.


Bawa read the court verdict: “The reasoning adopted by the public protector in coming to these findings, in light of the evidence available to her at the time of the report, is illogical and clearly fallacious.” Mvuyana conceded:

-Mkhwebane was part of the investigating team and was regularly fully-briefed on the Sars probe.

– The PPSA investigating team did not check via an affidavit the authenticity of submissions by a whistle-blower who listed the equipment the Sars unit allegedly procured.

-Witness accounts were taken at face value. v The investigative diary failed to include a meeting between PPSA investigators and other witnesses, like Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president Floyd Shivambo, who provided information on the Sars unit.

ALSO READ: ‘Karma is a bitch’: Text message sees Mkhwebane hearing postponed


Amid unhappiness by Mkhwebane’s defence advocate Dali Mpofu, who questioned Bawa’s line of questioning, Bawa continued to tear into Mvuyana’s evidence – keen to establish why she was out to defend Mkhwebane.

Said Mvuyana: “It must be clear from my own ethic that there was no malfeasance or bias. “If the PP is said to have ignored real evidence, then it is my fault, because I compiled the report.

Those who alluded to ignoring evidence, included PPSA staff who testified before me, Mr Van Loggerenberg and others.”

While being part of drafting the report on Sars, Mvuyana said she did not have access to the Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI) report because she did not have a top secret clearance certificate.

Challenged on why the classified IGI, Luther Lebelo and Nugent reports did not form part of the PPSA rule 53 record, Mvuyana said: “I would not know about the IGI report because I never saw it.

“The Nugent report was in the public domain and anybody could access it. The affidavit from Mr Luther Lebelo, I don’t know about it.” Said Mpofu: “The only affidavit Lebelo had, was given to the Nugent Commission.”

Bawa: “Were you involved in the compilation of documents in the office of the public protector?” Mvuyana: “Yes, I was. I assisted.” Mpofu: “Chairperson, I object to this line of questioning Bawa:

“If a document is meant for compliance with Rule 53, it is not about whether it is in the public domain or not…” Mvuyana: “Noted.” Bawa: “I asked you why the Nugent report on the Rule 53 record was not there and you referred to availability of it in the public domain, which is not a criteria for Rule 53.”

Mvuyana: “Yes, I do know that and you are correct the Nugent report should have been included as part of the Rule 53 record.”

READ MORE: Mkhwebane ‘did not interfere’ in Sars ‘rogue unit’ probe

– brians@citizen.co.za

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