Durban - The Public Protector’s office has confirmed that investigations into allegations that the president violated the Executive Code of Ethics are “ongoing and on track”.
"Accordingly, the institution wishes to take the opportunity to inform the public that the investigation concerned remains on track. Thus far, a total of four complaints have been received. Two were lodged in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act while the rest were lodged under the Public Protector Act," said spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe.
In a statement issued on Friday, the public protector’s office said following a letter written to him for a response to the allegations, the president, through his attorneys, requested an extension of the initial return date of June 22 and upon careful consideration of the request, brought to Acting Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka’s attention by the investigation officer for approval, it was acceded to.
"It must be noted that requests such as the president’s are quite common where the PPSA’s investigative work is concerned. In fact, the president made a similar request in respect of the Bosasa investigation and it was also acceded to,“ Segalwe explained.
He said decisions to accede to such requests are always informed by a careful consideration of the reasons advanced by respondents, the need on the part of the Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) to be fair to respondents and the amount of information requested from the respondents.
Segalwe added that in terms of section 3(2) of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act (EMEA), the Public Protector must submit a report on the alleged breach of the Code of Ethics within 30 days of receipt of the complaint.
However, section 3(3) states thus: “If the Public Protector reports at the end of the period referred to in subsection (2) that the investigation has not yet been completed, the Public Protector must submit another report when the investigation has been compIeted.”
Segalwe said the PPSA never completes EMEA investigations within the prescribed 30-day period due to the complexity of such matters, among other reasons.
“The institution currently has, in its caseload, several active EMEA investigations, some of which date back to 2020. With regard to the president’s matter, Advocate Gcaleka has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, in line with section 3(3) of the EMEA to inform her that the final report will be submitted once the investigation is completed,” he said.
“The PPSA reiterates that all investigations are and will be carried out with integrity, without fear, favour or prejudice to give effect to the principle of equality before the law,” Segalwe concluded.