The Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) will engage the National Treasury to obtain guidance on the payment of R2.1 million for accommodations of former public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane at taxpayers’ expense.
Briefing the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Friday, acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka said there has been informal discussions with the National Treasury on the matter.
She was asked about the R2.1 million deemed wasteful expenditure incurred by Mkhwebane when she moved into a state house during her term.
“We don’t want to be found at fault because of the processes.
“We want to ensure that the process will withstand legal scrutiny,” Gcaleka said.
PPSA chief executive Thandi Sibanyoni told MPs that the Public Finance Management Act was clear on how to deal with fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Sibanyoni said the institution has done calculations on the expenditure and would make a presentation to the National Treasury.
“We believe she was advised this can’t be paid for by the state. However, the advice was not heeded.”
Sibanyoni told MPs that they were still going through all the legal invoices to ascertain what they should not have paid for.
Gcaleka said the PPSA had yet to pay R900 000 for costs incurred for the impeachment of Mkhwebane.
“That is the amount we are busy verifying.
“It is taking a lot of time. We have not effected payment in this regard until we satisfy ourselves that this amount is payable.”
Regarding the gratuity to Mkhwebane, Gcaleka said the PPSA had not indicated that it would consider paying the amount and whether that amount was payable or not.
“The determination for the Public Protector and the Deputy Public Protector is not done by the institution.
“It is done by processes outside the institution.”
She said PPSA has approached Parliament and they were advised that it was seeking legal advice.