Yadhana Jadoo
2 minute read
20 Jan 2018
8:00 am

Mkhwebane is ‘confusing’

Yadhana Jadoo

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been called to stop relaying “conflicting and confusing messages” with regards to remedial actions of her predecessor.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services has called on Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to stop relaying “conflicting and confusing messages” with regards to remedial actions of her predecessor.

The committee was referring to remedial actions in Thuli Madonsela’s 2016 State of Capture report – of which she stipulated that a judicial commission of inquiry be instituted in this regard. Following numerous calls, President Jacob Zuma finally announced the establishment of the inquiry last month, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Soon after his announcement, Mkhwebane then called for the terms of reference in the Zondo Commission to be broadened to include the capture of all state institutions and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

The committee expressed its concern by her call and said the issue would be addressed when she appears in parliament. Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga also charged that Mkhwebane should respect Madonsela’s remedial actions.

“It is not for her to request an expansion of the terms of reference for the state capture inquiry. In fact, it is only the courts that have the power to amend or change the remedial action.” Motshekga said Mkhwebane was “confusing” to the public.

“The integrity of the remedial action should not be questioned and as the courts have previously ruled, the remedial action of the public protector is binding.” He further appealed that any inquiry that is to take place in relation to Madonsela’s report, restrict itself to the remedial action. Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises will next week resume its own inquiry into state capture at SOEs.

The ANC Women’s League, meanwhile, said it “noted with no surprise” the rejections to broadening the terms of reference. “Those utterances seek to undermine the office of the public protector and its incumbent leader. The report does not belong to any political party either … it belongs to South Africa, which is led by the ANC,” it said.

“Their rejection on the broadening of terms of reference confirms ANCWL’s long-held view that the state capture narrative is used by others to fight factional political battles and not to genuinely fight fraud and corruption.”The DA’s James Selfe said that Mkhwebane “appears to be intent on sowing confusion by contradicting Madonsela’s findings and obfuscating the true purpose of the commission”.

He said: “Mkhwebane’s proposal is neither practical nor in the interests of justice as it might result in the commission sitting for years and being unable to complete its work because of an overly broad mandate.”

-Yadhana Jadoo

I was right, says Thuli


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