Mkhwebane must pay back the money

Issued by Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP – DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
03 Nov 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP.

Yesterday, in the Section 194 impeachment inquiry, it was revealed that suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been spending outrageous sums of taxpayer money to defend poor quality reports emanating from her office, as well as running a Bell-Pottinger style propaganda campaign to defend her public image.

It has become increasingly clear that the Public Protector, contrary to the very purpose of her office, has no qualms about spending vast swathes of taxpayers’ money on failed bids to defend her reports, and bolstering her public image through clandestine media campaigns.

Some of the most shocking revelations include the following:

  • Dali Mpofu earned approximately R12 million in briefs from Seanego Attorneys.
  • The Public Protector spent approximately R147 million in legal fees over the last 6 years.
  • The Public Protector’s Office spent approximately R4 million defending her CR17 Report, R3.4 million defending her Estina Dairy Report, and R15 million on litigation against Minister Pravin Gordhan. Each one of these matters, with a total value of around R22,4 million were defeated in court.
  • The payment of approximately R120 000 for a media campaign to rehabilitate the Public Protector’s image and criticize the courts that ruled against her.

The DA will be writing to the Acting Public Protector to request that a full audit is conducted on all funds spent by the Public Protector to defend Mkhwebane both in court and in the media space. It should be determined if any of this expenditure was inappropriate, and if so the repayment of these funds should be sought from Mkhwebane.

The Office of the Public Protector is central to our constitutional framework. All funds spent by the institution must be in furtherance of its core mandate. Should any expenditure be found to have been inappropriately spent by the Office to further personal agendas of the Public Protector, every effort should be made to recoup these costs from the suspended Public Protector directly.