Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist


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

Meanwhile, the suspended Public Protector is set to address the media next week.


Former Cabinet minister and African National Congress (ANC) MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson was reportedly threatened with an arrest just two days before her death.

Joemat-Pettersson died at the age of 59 this week after she was implicated in a R600 000 bribery scandal linked to suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

ALSO READ: Tina Joemat-Pettersson leaves a complicated legacy

It has been alleged that Joemat-Pettersson acted as an intermediary in a plot to extort money from Mkhwebane’s husband, David Skosana, in order to have her parliamentary inquiry halted.

Her fellow ANC MPs, Pemmy Majodina and Qubudile Dyantyi, who chairs the Section 194 Inquiry on Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, were also allegedly involved in the “scheme”.

A criminal case was laid with the police by Skosana.

‘Interrogation’

It has since been revealed that Joemat-Pettersson was questioned by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate (ID) last Saturday.

The former minister was informed that she would be nabbed “if she refused to cooperate with the investigators” during the two hour meeting, according to City Press.

“They threatened to arrest her and two other MPs, saying she should give evidence against others in return for a lighter sentence.

“She was terrified at being surrounded by six men. They gave her until [5 June] to supply them with evidence, failing which they were going to arrest her,” an unnamed source told the publication.

However, the ID has denied that Joemat-Pettersson had been interrogated or even discussed the extortion allegations.

READ MORE: Mkhwebane extortion claims could open final committee report to legal challenge

“The ID isn’t dealing with any allegations involving any complaints by Mkhwebane. The team did meet with Joemat-Pettersson to clarify issues regarding an existing ID matter, which has nothing to do with the Blue Lights matter,” ID spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said.

“She wasn’t interviewed as a suspect. The team simply sought to [have her clarify some issues] in her official capacity. Her death is unfortunate and any intimation that it was related to the visit of the ID team is contemptible and ill-informed. The ID team won’t be used to create sensation about such untruths,” Seboka added.

Days later following the meeting, Joemat-Pettersson’s sons, Terrence and Austin, issued a statement confirming that their mother had passed away in her own home on 5 June.

Former ANC MP and political analyst, Melanie Verwoerd dismissed speculation that Joemat-Pettersson committed suicide amid he allegations against her.

Verwoerd told The Citizen on Wednesday that the late ANC MP had been sick for a long time – suffering from cancer

Section 194 chair recusal

The extortion allegations have taken centre stage at Mkhwebane’s inquiry, with the suspended public protector seeking Dyantyi’s removal from the parliamentary process.

Mkhwebane wrote Dyantyi to asking the Section 194 Inquiry chair to recuse himself “out of his own conscience” due to the allegations.

She also threatened to share the recordings and WhatsApp exchanges between Joemat-Pettersson and her husband during proceedings.

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The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), United Democratic Movement and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) have backed Mkhwebane, saying the allegations were tainting the integrity of the inquiry.

ATM leader Vuyo Zungula has also written to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, requesting her urgent intervention in the matter.

The suspended public protector, who has lodged a complaint with Parliament’s Ethics Committee, is expected to brief the media on the extortion saga next week.