Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Busisiwe Mkhwebane Picture: MIKE HUTCHINGS/REUTERS

DA uses former convict's statement in bid to remove Public Protector

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Feb 26, 2020

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Johannesburg - In its bid to dethrone Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane as the country’s Public Protector, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has cited a controversial employee as having been victimised by Mkhwebane.

In its new motion against Mkhwebane which was filed on Friday last week and made public on Tuesday, the party’s chief whip, Natasha Mazzone claims that Mkhwebane threatened Sphelo Samuel with disciplinary hearings using trumped up charges. 

This is listed under the charge of misconduct and or incompetence the party used to motivate why the motion against Mkhwebane should be considered by the speaker of the national assembly, Thandi Modise. 

Samuel is the provincial representative of the Public Protector in the Free State province and he submitted a dossier to parliament against Mkhwebane.

However, his credibility was questioned when it emerged that he did not disclose that he is a convicted person.  

According to a report carried by City Press over the weekend, Samuel said he did not disclose his conviction because he felt it was a “minor” matter that he wanted to put it behind him and “move on”.  

It is alleged that Samuel was involved in an altercation in December 2011, while he was still based Polokwane, Limpopo province. At the time the Public Protector was Advocate Thuli Madonsela and it is not clear whether Samuel was hauled over the coals for the assault on 78-year-old Nchaupe Seabi. The assault is not only haunting Samuel but it also haunting the office of the Public Protector as Seabi is now suing the PP's office for R350 000. 

Asked whether it was wise for the DA to list a compromised person like Samuel as his case may compromise their motion, Mazzone said it was her duty to report all complaints she received against Mkhwebane.

“I have an obligation to report all complaints that I receive,” Mazzone said.

Mkhwebane's spokesperson, Oupa Segwale said Samuel is still in their employ but he is currently not at work after taking sick leave. 

Political Bureau

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