Mkhwebane denies accusations of ‘sinister timing’ in Oscar Mabuyane graft report

Mkhwebane denies accusations of ‘sinister timing’ in Oscar Mabuyane graft report

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has hit back at claims that the release of damning graft report on Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane is a decoy. 

Busisiwe  Mkhwebane
Pic: Neo Motloung

Mabuyane came under fire last week when he, other government officials and private companies were named in Mkhwebane’s report for irregularly benefitting from the R1.1 million allocated to the memorial service for the late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.


Mabuyane is believed to have personally benefited close to R500 000 for the 2018 memorial, while the African National Congress (ANC) in the province allegedly pocketed close to R300 000. 


Some in the governing party have since accused Mkhwebane of deliberately releasing the report only weeks before the local government elections, playing into factional wars.


But Mkhwebane’s office denies this.


“Baseless allegations to the effect that the office is ‘party to intra-party and external factionalism’, that the report was timed to coincide with the provincial ANC’s election campaign and that the investigation report in question was ready two months ago are rejected with contempt,” says Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe. 


“The office does not stop exercising its powers or performing its functions merely because an election is approaching. That would be at odds with the section 181(2) Constitution.” 


Segalwe adds Mkhwebane stands by the report. 


“The question that the ANC in the Eastern Cape ought to concern itself with is whether Premier Mabuyane, MEC Madikizela and the party itself benefited from funds siphoned from the public purse under the pretext that the money was going to be used to ferry mourners to the memorial service of Ms. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. 


“The party should also be seized with whether the manner, pattern and short succession in which the funds were disbursed does not raise a suspicion of a commission of criminal conduct in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act,” Segalwe adds.


Mabuyane has vowed to take the report under judicial review. 


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