Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has said she does not have ill-feelings towards President Cyril Ramaphosa or Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and she is simply executing her constitutional responsibilities. 

Mkhwebane was responding to questions at a gala dinner in Durban on Tuesday night. 

A non-governmental organisation, Ubumbano Lokuthula Organisation, had organised the event in which Mkhwebane was a guest speaker and answered questions. 

“I don’t hate Minister Pravin Gordhan and I don’t hate President Ramaphosa,” she said.

She said she was doing her work without fear, favour or prejudice to investigate complaints that had been launched against senior government leaders. She said she never initiated investigations, but she only reacted to complaints that were brought before her.  

“We check what happened, what should have happened, what the law is saying and we deal with evidence,” she said. 

She said all the investigations which her office had done on Gordhan and Ramaphosa were above board. 

“When they take us to court we show rule 53 that on the issue of the (Ivan) Pillay matter here is the submission, and minister Gordhan signed here and we have evidence. 

“On the issue of the rogue unit, minister Gordhan wrote to Mr Trevor Manuel, he (Gordhan) requested funding from SSA (State Security Agency) knowing very well that Sars did not have jurisdiction or constitutional mandate to a covert structure,” she said.        

She said Gordhan was aware of what the law said with regard to forming the covert structure. 

“We got evidence that this should not have happened, as there is the report of inspector-general of Intelligence (Setlhomamaru Dintwe) who investigated and found that it was wrong.

She said interception of people's phone calls were one aspect of the investigation that raised red flags.

Mkhwebane said a judge should have given authority to intercept individual’s phones. 

“Why install cameras in the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) offices when you are investigating?” she asked. 

She said if Sars wanted to investigate smuggling and rhino poaching it should have used existing systems “since there is cooperative governance.”

“Use these people (existing investigative units) and get the judges to do that and operate within the law,” she said. 

She added that her office had investigated Ramaphosa following a complaint that was lodged against him. 

She did not specify what complaint she was referring to as there were a number of them, but one of them was that Ramaphosa misled Parliament on his family’s relationship with African Global Operations also known as Bosasa.  

“The complaint was lodged , we have evidence and we produced everything. When we are saying as a country we need to have a transparent leadership, then the very same constitution... does it applied to everyone or does it only apply to certain individuals? ” she asked with regards to the protection offered by the Constitution.

Political Bureau