Public Protector won’t oppose Mabuyane’s interim interdict against her remedial action

Johannesburg -The Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will not oppose the Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s court application to interdict implementation of her remedial action.

This is despite Mabuyane’s failure to accede to a condition set by Mkhwebane in a correspondence to Mabuyane’s lawyers, where she ordered him to withdraw and apologise for the defamatory remarks Mabuyane he made on a live television interview.

Mabuyane had rubbished the Public Protector report and said the public needs to be protected from Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane said these remarks impact negatively on her dignity and integrity.

The Public Protector spokesperson Oupa Segalwe confirmed that the Public Protector will not oppose the first part of Mabuyane’s court application even though no apology was received from him.

Segalwe said: “The Office Public Protector is not opposing Part A because the office will not suffer any prejudice if the relief sought is granted.”

Mabuyane lodged two-pronged court action against the Public Protector report which had made findings against him that he unduly benefited from the R1.1-Million state funds meant for the memorial service of the late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Mkhwebane made a finding that Mabuyane received R450 000 of the R1.1-Million which was misappropriated from the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Municipality [formerly Mbizana Local Municipality] to improperly benefit Mabuyane, Eastern Cape MEC for Public Works and Infrastructure Babalo Madikizela and the ANC in the Eastern Cape.

The money was paid to the business account of Lonwabo Bam’s company, Mthombeni Projects.

Mkhwebane also referred part of her investigation to the Hawks to probe a suspicion of a commission of criminal conduct and corruption.

In Part A of his application, Mabuyane seeks an interim order suspending the implementation of the remedial action taken by the Public Protector pending the finalisation of the relief sought in Part B, in terms of which he wants the Public Protector’s report reviewed and set aside.

Segalwe said the Office Public Protector will oppose Part B of the application.

On the other hand, the Hawks which have been cited as the third Respondent in Mabuyane’s application said they will oppose Mabuyane’s application.

It has been reported that the Hawks had concluded their investigation long before the Public Protector sought their investigation on this matter.

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