Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane

HAWKS, NPA sing different tune in under fire Premier Oscar Mabuyane case

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Oct 20, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The Hawks say they “suited” what they believed to be complete investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in relation to embattled Eastern Cape and provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane.

This emerged after the NPA said investigations into the matter were still ongoing, while the Hawks had indicated that the probe had been completed and referred to the NPA for a decision.

Mabuyane found himself under fire after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane made damning findings in her report, that he irregularly benefited from a R1.1 million tender for the memorial service of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Mkhwebane ordered the Hawks to investigate allegations that Mabuyane received up to R450 000 in relation to the tender. The money is alleged to have been used to renovate his house while he was a member of the executive council (MEC) for economic development.

In her findings, Mkhwebane also found that Eastern Cape Public Works MEC Babalo Madikizela and the provincial ANC itself benefited to the tune of R350 000 and R280 000 respectively, from the R1.1 million siphoned out of the coffers of the provincial government.

The Hawks had initially said they had concluded the probe in March, having initially started in May 2019.

But NPA spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said: “Investigations are still ongoing. The matter is still under investigation. The investigation is conducted through

a prosecution guided investigation methodology. No further information will be released at this stage as the matter is still under investigation.“

When this was put to her, Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale said: “As usual practice, the NPA will direct where there is additional information required hence a requirement for warning statements. We should not allow the degeneration into a contention between NPA and DPCI to become the subject and moving away from the subject of interdiction. The rest will come out in the affidavits.”

Political analysts have weighed in on “contradicting” statements from the NPA and the Hawks saying these posed a threat to “constitutional order” .

UWC political analyst Professor Bheki Mngomezulu said it has become a norm for government institutions and government officials to conflict one another.

“At times this is deliberate while in other instances this is due to ignorance. The blending of politics and law is concerning. Moreover, ANC factions have compounded the situation. People misinform the nation in order to be politically correct. Some do so in order to protect their jobs.

“In the case of Mabuyane, the problem is that more than one investigation has been carried out. These include the car which is said to have been bought for the provincial government but ended in his name as well as the current R450 000. Lately, few cases are confined in law, political influence has become the order of the day. This is a sad reality,” said Mngomezulu.

Another political analyst Dr Kuhle Zwakala from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology said: “These inconsistencies are beginning to characterise the judicial institutions, from ConCourt majority decisions versus minority in the Jacob Zuma case, and now Hawks versus NPA on Mabuyane case. It's becoming apparent that these institutions are largely influenced by the current political environment, and this is a threat to our constitutional order.”

Mabuyane has since filed papers asking the Eastern Cape High Court to interdict the Hawks from investigating him, a move that Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele hailed in his TV interview on Tuesday.

The Hawks have said they will oppose the application.

Mabuyane's acting spokesperson Mxolisi Spondo said there will be no further comment from Mabuyane, as the matter was sub-judice.

Cape Times

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