ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has vowed to challenge the report implicating him in cases of irregular appointments of staff, irregular salary increases, financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest during his time as Johannesburg mayor.
In a statement on Monday, 1 March, Mashaba said his legal team were finalising papers to “overturn the final report and set aside its findings”.
This is after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane draft report was released in December last year. Mashaba confirmed he would approach the courts to have the report reviewed.
The former Johannesburg mayor previously opened a criminal case over the leak of Mkhwebane’s draft report following her investigation.
Mashaba argued that the leak of the draft report was a criminal offence in terms of Section 11 of the Public Protector Act.
He said he had initiated a public access to information (PAIA) application to obtain the list of individuals who received the draft report.
“The Public Protector Act makes it a requirement that a draft report is sent to those implicated in the findings in the report to afford them the right of reply,” Mashaba said.
“We have it on good authority that individuals who had no right to the draft report were in possession of it and it does not take much imagination to see they had a political motive to leak the draft report.
“Despite submitting our PAIA application, the prescribed period of time lapsed without the public protector providing the list of recipients of the draft report. The fact that the office of the public protector, as a Chapter 9 Institution empowered by our Constitution, can ignore its legal responsibilities under PAIA is appalling.
“We are currently submitting our appeal and are ready to approach the courts should the information not be supplied,” he said.
“When it was leaked, the public protector received my written complaint and has not even replied substantively, much less pursued those who are the likely leaks of the report.
“The public protector may have more immediate challenges with the portfolio committee on justice issuing its findings on her fitness to hold office to the Speaker of the National Assembly.”
Mashaba said he would not rest until the report was overturned.
“I have long held the belief that ethical leaders do not limit their actions to verbally challenging a report, they take legal action so that the matter can be ventilated transparently for the media and South African public to see.
“This is why, even without a remedial action against me in the report, I will ensure it is overturned in an open court of law.”