Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane made some shocking claims in her highly anticipated public briefing on Tuesday, including that if she had not been subjected to an impeachment inquiry and suspended, ANC MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson would be alive.
Mkhwebane ignored a warning from Parliament’s ethics committee not to make public audio recordings between her husband David Skosana and Joemat-Pettersson and played snippets of the March 2023 secret meetings between the two in which the latter allegedly tried to extort R600K from him to make the inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, disappear.
While Joemat-Pettersson’s cause of death has not yet been made public knowledge, Mkhwebane made numerous claims that the late ANC MP would still be alive today “if the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary, as well as the ANC/DA alliance, has complied with their constitutional obligations.
“In a way all of these institutions killed Ms Joemat-Pettersson,” Mkhwebane said.
Mkhwebane held the briefing after it was reported that it was during this meeting that the late minister told her husband that the chairperson of the Section 194 inquiry probing Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, Richard Dyantyi, the ANC Chief Whip in Parliament, Pemmy Majodina, and herself would need R200 000 each to facilitate the disappearance of the impeachment inquiry.
At the start of her lengthy statement, Mkhwebane quoted Joemat-Pettersson from one of the secret recordings – “But the courts are with Ramaphosa.”
This statement by Joemat-Pettersson, she said, was most concerning not only for her, but for all South Africans.
She further stated that the judiciary was implicated in the concerted effort to violate her rights, as the judgment in the DA, ANC appeal against her return to office was yet to be handed down.
On May 24, Mkhwebane lodged a complaint of gross misconduct against the nine judges who sat in the matter, and a separate complaint against Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and Justice Jody Kollapen.
“It is fair to say that if the chief justice and the Constitutional Court justices had complied with their constitutional obligations, (Joemat-Pettersson) may have been alive today,” she said.
She added that even if the judgment was issued now, it was “too late” for Joemat-Pettersson and also “irrelevant” to Mkhwebane.
With regards to the third arm of the state, Mkhwebane said it was the role of the legislature that was “probably much more direct” in the death of Joemat-Pettersson.
While snippets of selected recordings were played during the media briefing, Mkhwebane said it must also be taken into account that the meeting was recorded in a busy restaurant and in secret so there was a lot of background noise.
However, in her statement, she listed some key statements allegedly made by Joemat-Pettersson in the amateur recordings.
These included :
There was a predetermined outcome for her impeachment and Majodina “instructs the members of the committee on what to do in the committee”.
- Both Dyantyi and Majodina were allegedly very angry that they were not made ministers and were therefore prepared to frustrate the impeachment process until the end of her term.
- Ramaphosa was allegedly “desperate” to make Mkhwebane an offer, but she had to resign.
- Skosana should not tell his wife, Mkhwebane or her legal team led by advocate Dali Mpofu SC about the “proposed deal”, aka extortion attempts.
“Any person who still believes that all this evidence could have been dreamt up or manufactured by me or my husband needs their head to be examined. Even the most biased or stupid person would tread carefully in the face of such overwhelming and mutually reinforcing evidence,” Mkhwebane concluded.
Video: Kailene Pillay/IOL
Previously, a report by the Star newspaper said Skosana was expected to release the audio recording of the first meeting he had with Joemat-Pettersson at Ocean Basket restaurant at the airport on March 21.
It is reported that it was during this meeting that the late minister told him that the chairperson of the Section 194 inquiry probing Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, Dyantyi, the ANC Chief Whip in Parliament, Majodina, and herself would need R200 000 each to facilitate the disappearance of the impeachment inquiry.
The Star can today confirm that Joemat-Pettersson was explicit during the meeting, for which she flew from Cape Town to specifically see Skosana, and that she was also representing Dyantyi and Majodina.