Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has handed to the Hawks a sensational complaint that an unnamed cabinet minister is linked to drug trafficking syndicates.

Madonsela made the disclosure on Friday in Johannesburg during an address to the annual international conference hosted by the Institute for Security Studies.

She said her office did not investigate the alleged criminal conduct of a cabinet minister but instead referred the matter to the Hawks.

“My office is a safe harbour, together with the auditor-general, for whistle-blowers under the Protected Disclosures Act 2000.

“This includes the disclosure of white-collar crimes in state affairs. Where the disclosure is more of a criminal nature than administrative conduct, those cases are referred to competent bodies such as the Hawks, for example, sometime last year we received a complaint that a certain member of the executive is involved in criminality involving abetting drug lords.

“We didn’t investigate it because it was less about white-collar crime or administrative action and more about criminality. The matter was referred to the Hawks,” Madonsela said.

The Sunday Independent approached Madonsela’s office with questions. These include the identity of the cabinet minister involved, the name of the president under which the minister served and the type of drugs referred to in the complaint.

Madonsela’s office asked for time to consult with her.

Late on Saturday, Madonsela’s spokesman Oupa Segalwe said: “She (Madonsela) is unable to help you. She said the matter is now with the justice system, she can’t divulge any further details about the complaint.”

Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko failed to respond to the questions about whether they had received the complaint from the public protector’s office.

Sunday Independent