Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has been granted relief by the Bhisho High Court to interdict the remedial actions of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report.
The matter was heard in the high court on Tuesday after Mabuyane, along with Eastern Cape public works MEC, Babalo Madikizela, had launched an urgent application.
The application to interdict Mkwebane’s remedial action and an investigation by the Hawks was not opposed by the public protector.
Mabuyane had approached the high court to interdict Mkhwebane’s remedial actions pending a review application to have her report relating to late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s 2018 memorial service set aside entirely.
The premier’s application was spilt into two parts.
In part A of the application, Mabuyane sought an interim order suspending the implementation of the remedial action as directed by Mkhwebane “pending the finalisation of the relief sought in part B”.
Part B, meanwhile, sought to have Mkhwebane’s report reviewed and set aside.
The public protector is set to oppose part B of Mabuyane’s application.
In her report, Mkhwebane found that Mabuyane and Madikizela had illegally benefited from R1.1 million in funds intended for Madikizela-Mandela’s memorial service.
The funds were made available in effort to transport mourners to the memorial service in Mbizana in 2018.
The public protector found that Mabuyane, who was the MEC for economic development in 2018, personally benefited to the tune of R450,000, and the money was apparently used to fund renovations at his home.
A private company owned by Madikizela’s wife received R350,000 through the Mbizana Local Municipality, while the ANC in the province received the rest of the funds through its FNB fundraising account.
Mkhwebane also recommended – as a remedial action – that the Hawks investigate the matter further.
She investigated the matter following a complaint from Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality resident, Xolile Mashukuca, according to News24.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Eastern Cape have since open a criminal case against Mabuyane and the MEC.