Mkhwebane counsel: DA court bid on Vrede Dairy Farm politically motivated
Pretoria - The public protector's legal representative said in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday that the Democratic Alliance's (DA's) application to set aside the report of Busisiwe Mkhwebane on the Vrede Dairy Farm project, was politically motivated.
Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana, made his submissions on Wednesday after the DA and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution told the court on Tuesday why the report should be declared unconstitutional and set aside.
Ngalwana said that the application was not about Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office.
"The intention of the DA is to have this court act as the DA’s conduit. They want the court to step into the shoes of the public protector, clothe themselves in the clothes of the public protector and perform the functions of the public protector," he said.
Responding to a question from Judge Ronel Tolmay about whether he wanted to have the application dismissed if it was politically motivated, Ngalwana answered: "Yes."
He said political parties should fight their battles in the National Assembly. “You don’t use the public protector as a whipping boy for issues that should be determined in the legislature," Ngalwana said.
He said if the DA wanted to govern in the Free State then it must compete politically in that province.
The DA on Tuesday said the actions of Mkhwebane were unconstitutional on the Vrede Dairy Farm project and it wanted her report to be set aside as she had also failed to hold any politicians accountable.
Mkhwebane failed to name politicians such as former Free State premier Ace Magashule and then MEC for agriculture, Mosebenzi Zwane, in her report, the DA said.
The project, which the Free State government set up to assist poor formerly disadvantaged farmers in the area, saw millions of rands earmarked for developing a dairy project making its way into the accounts of Gupta associates.
The matter continues.
African News Agency/ANA