ANC bigwigs allegedly demanded R600 000 to make Mkhwebane inquiry ‘go away’

Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Pemmy Majodina, Richard Dyantyi and Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: The Star graphics.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Pemmy Majodina, Richard Dyantyi and Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: The Star graphics.

Published May 29, 2023


Johannesburg - The police are investigating a case of extortion against three ANC MPs after their legate allegedly approached suspended Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s husband and demanded a R600 000 bribe in order to “manipulate or make” her Section 194 inquiry “go away”.

Mkhwebane’s husband, Mandla Skosana, opened a case of extortion against ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina, Richard Dyantyi, who chairs the parliamentary inquiry against the suspended public prosecutor, and Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who chairs the portfolio committee on police services, last week.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe yesterday confirmed that Skosana opened the case of extortion at the OR Tambo police station at the airport, and it was transferred to the provincial detectives on Thursday.

In his statement to police, seen by The Star’s sister paper, the Sunday Independent, Skosana claims Joemat-Pettersson, out of the blue, called him on Human Rights Day “to tell me that she was coming all the way from Cape Town to Johannesburg specifically to meet me”.

He said she suggested that they meet at a specific restaurant in Kempton Park, “citing the fact that it would be safe and ideal because it did not have cameras”. It was in this meeting that Joemat-Pettersson allegedly asked for a bribe.

Skosana also added that he was “pained by the approach that was made to me to make available a sum of R200 000 each for Joemat-Pettersson, Dyantyi, and Majodina so they could manipulate or make the impeachment proceedings go away”.

Skosana said in his affidavit that he had “no prior relationship with Joemat-Pettersson, Dyantyi or Majodina and has never encountered any of them except in Parliament”.

He added that he “never had discussions with Dyantyi and Majodina, except that Joemat-Pettersson advised me that she was making the request on their behalf too”.

Joemat-Pettersson allegedly told him that she has “a very close relationship with both Dyantyi and Majodina”.

"I was very shocked to realise that I was being asked to pay what, to me as a layperson, appeared to be a bribe to Joemat-Pettersson, Majodina and Dyantyi in exchange for them helping the PP have a fair hearing," he added.

Skosana asked the police to investigate “the bribery request”.

“I would like this matter to be thoroughly investigated and the culprits brought to book to account for their actions, as it taints and compromises a process that has brought so much agony and suffering to my family.”

He also added that Joemat-Pettersson said that Dyantyi was “used” to chair the inquiry against Mkhwebane, who was suspended a day after she sent 31 questions to President Cyril Ramaphosa in connection with the robbery of an undisclosed amount of US dollars at his Phala Phala farm in Bela-Bela, Limpopo. And also that Majodina and Dyantyi were angry that they weren’t appointed ministers during Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle in February this year.

Skosana said that two days later, Joemat-Pettersson called him to another meeting at the same restaurant, where she told him that Majodina and Dyantyi were both around Gauteng “attending the ANC’s annual lekgotla meeting”, and it was in this meeting that Skosana claimed Joemat-Pettersson told him that Ramaphosa wanted them to finish the parliamentary inquiry against Mkhwebane as soon as possible.

Skosana added that Joemat-Pettersson also told him that someone, whose name she didn’t disclose, was appointed as a "project manager" to oversee and micromanage the parliamentary inquiry against Mkhwebane “because Dyantyi was not producing the desired results”.

“She even volunteered sensitive information that the inquiry was going to be manipulated to ensure that the public protector got impeached and to guarantee the desired outcome,” he disclosed in his affidavit.

Skosana said he observed that Dyantyi’s behaviour changed “during the period of bribe discussions”, as he was “all of a sudden uncharacteristically extremely nice and accommodative to the PP and her legal team”.

“This change of attitude was even echoed and noticed by people on social media. It was the subject of much speculation,” he said.

Skosana added that “as soon as it became clear I was not delivering on the bribe, I noticed a sudden re-hindering of the chairperson’s attitude towards the public protector and her legal team.

“When I informed Joemat-Pettersson that I would call a press conference to reveal the matter, she stated that she had made up the whole thing.”

Skosana said he was later forced to disclose the information to Mkhwebane, and “she was visibly shocked and distraught to learn of such corruption and criminal activity by the MPs”.

Skosana added that he made a full disclosure to Mkhwebane and her legal team on May 9.

“I am in possession of a WhatsApp exchange between myself and Joemat-Pettersson. I will provide all that material to the SAPS.”

When approached for comment yesterday, Joemat-Pettersson said: “I have no idea about this.” She said Skosana “is a little bit desperate” to make such spurious allegations against her. But when she was informed that Skosana had WhatsApp messages between them, Joemat-Pettersson changed her tune.

“If he has opened a case, then how do I respond to the media? Then I must get a lawyer. And if he is casting aspersions on my character and mentioning this, then I have serious problems about the whole thing,” she said.

Joemat-Pettersson couldn’t explain the reasons she called Skosana, met him twice and sent WhatsApp messages.

She vehemently denied that she met Skosana as a messenger for Majodina and Dyantyi.

Yesterday, Majodina, said she knew nothing about Joemat-Pettersson approaching Skosana on her behalf to solicit a bribe.

Mkhwebane wrote a letter to the House Speaker, Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula, asking for an urgent meeting in relation to allegations of corruption in the Section 194 committee.

She informed the Speaker on Tuesday that she has “very sensitive information regarding very serious allegations of corruption on the part of senior members of the National Assembly” that was recently brought to her attention.

But Maphisa-Nqakula advised Mkhwebane to report these members to the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members Interests.

“There is no need for us to meet to discuss the referral of matters for investigation at the level of Parliament, as the process is clearly spelt out in the code and on Parliament’s website,” the Speaker responded.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said yesterday that the Speaker wasn’t taking this matter seriously and called for a parliamentary inquiry on the matter.

“These allegations show how deep the rot is in this country.

“These extortion allegations must be investigated by the Speaker and all presiding officers in Parliament, and they must act with speed as soon as possible,” he said.

ATM leader Vuyo Zungula said: “These are very strong allegations. The Section 194 committee is to be halted, and the Parliament Ethics Committee lodges an investigation into the matter.

Parliament can’t continue with this inquiry with a cloud hanging over the head of its chairperson. These allegations have compromised and tainted the entire process,” he said.

Dyantyi failed to answer questions sent to him.

The Star