New protector keeps iron grip on report

NEW Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has refused demands by the official opposition to release the report on state capture.

Mkhwebane told MPs yesterday she will make the report public only after all court processes had been finalised. She said the report was being kept under lock and key at her offices, despite demands from some of the opposition parties to release it.

New Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Credit: INLSA

She told MPs she would file her responding affidavit to the interdicts of President Jacob Zuma and Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen in the high court in Pretoria tomorrow.

She also cleared the air with members of the justice and correctional services portfolio committees with regards to her views on state capture. Before taking up her position, she had been reported as 
saying this matter was not a priority.

“My vision is at the grass-roots level. Contrary to popular belief, it does not mean I will give high-profile cases less attention,” said Mkhwebane.

She did not commit on the date of the release of the report on state capture, but said she would file an affidavit tomorrow. Mkhwebane said she was keeping the report at her offices, based on the decision of the court last week.

She was supported by the EFF, who called for the report to be kept safe until the court applications were dealt with.

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu said all parties were unanimous that the report be kept safe. “There is unanimity because the ANC issued a statement that the report must be released.”

Werner Horn, of the DA, said since the report has been finalised, she has to make it public. He said the Public Protector Act called on the public protector to give the complainant, in this case the DA, a copy of the report once it had been completed.

But Mkhwebane said she could not do this as she had to prepare affidavits in the case against Zuma and Van Rooyen.

The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) entered the fray 
yesterday and called on 
Mkhwebane not to be intimidated by the DA.

ANCWL secretary-general Meokgo Matuba called on Mkhwebane to extensively investigate state capture.