NEWS & ANALYSIS

Mkhwebane considering criminal proceedings against Mike Waters - PP

This is for DA MP contravening Section 7(2) of PP Act by publicising provisional findings

MEDIA STATEMENT

Democratic Alliance in contravention of Section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act, 1994 (Act No. 23 of 1994) and the Public Protector is considering instituting criminal proceedings against Mike Waters MP - Deputy Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance.

On 1st September 2017, the Public Protector issued a provisional closing report on an investigation into allegations of a violation of the Executive Ethics Code by the Minister of State Security, Mr. David Mahlobo, MP, who is alleged to have deliberately misled Parliament when he said the "Fees Must Fall' activist, Mr. Mcebo Dlamini has never been to his house.

The Public Protector conducted an investigation into the above-mentioned allegations and based on the evidence at her disposal, she concluded that it cannot be found that Minister David Mahlobo willfully misled Parliament, unless the Democratic Alliance provide the Public Protector with any information contradicting the contents of provisional closing report on or before Monday, 1l September 2017.

In the aforesaid provisional report, the Public Protector indicated that if she does not receive any contradictory information by the return date, the matter will be considered as finalized.

Instead of DA responding to the Public Protector's provisional closing report, Mr Mike Waters, published the aforesaid provisional report and issued a media statement titled "Public Protector gives David Mahlobo a pass for lying to Parliament". The publication of this provisional report was prohibited in terms of section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act.

In accordance with section 7(1) (b) (i), read with section 7(2), of the Public Protector Act, the Public Protector determined that the contents of the provisional closing report shall not be disclosed to any other person.

This is not the first time the Democratic Alliance violate the provision of section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act.

In July 2017, the DA MP who is a shadow Minister for Public Enterprise published a letter (which letter contained some confidential information) from the Public Protector's office, regarding an investigation into a "complaint in connection of improper and irregular payment of pension benefit amount to R30 million to the former Chief Executive of Eskom SOC Limited, Mr Brian Molefe".

On 27th July 2017, the Public Protector wrote a letter to the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, registering her disappointment about the manner in which a member of the Democratic Alliance ("DA") has dealt with the correspondence emanating from the complaint lodged in her office and she then requested members of the DA to refrain from disseminating correspondence received from her office to the media or any social network, as this has the potential to undermine or compromise her investigations.

The Public Protector is extremely perturbed and disappointed by the continuous violation of the Public Protector Act by the Democratic Alliance, which conduct undermines the independence and effectiveness of the Public Protector.

Section 11(1) of the Public Protector Act provide that any person who contravenes the provisions of 7(2) of this Act shall be guilty of an offence. Section 11(4) of Public Protector Act provide that any person convicted of an offence in terms of this Act shall be liable to a fine not exceeding R40 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

Accordingly, the Public Protector is considering instituting criminal proceedings against Mike Waters MP - Deputy Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance.

Statement issued by Ms Cleopatra Mosana, Spokesperson, Public Protector South Africa, 4 September 2017