NEWS & ANALYSIS

PP threatens DA instead of taking action against ministers – Mike Waters

MP says it is disappointing that not a single person has been charged in connection with state capture

Public Protector threatens DA instead of taking action against State Capture or lying ministers

5 September 2017

It is with concern that I take note of the Public Protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, threatening to take action against me, the person who reported a minister for lying to Parliament, precisely as she declines to take action against the liar himself.

It is profoundly disappointing that the Office of the Public Protector has the time to threaten me with criminal proceedings when not a single person has been charged in connection with State Capture. This despite the extraordinary work done by Adv. Mkhwebane’s predecessor in exposing corruption at the highest level, as detailed in the State of Capture report. Instead, we are witness to near-daily revelations of corruption and looting by the political elite and their criminal associates who operate with complete impunity.

The Public Protector’s priorities are indeed skewed and I can only urge her to commit her time and resources to tackling the threat of State Capture. Indeed, if Adv. Mkhwebane insists on instituting criminal proceedings, she should consider following up with the relevant authorities on this observation from the State of Capture report:

12 (j) The Public Protector, in terms of section 6 (4) (c) (i) of the Public Protector Act, brings to the notice of the National Prosecuting Authority and the DPCI those matters identified in this report where it appears crimes have been committed.

I fear that Adv. Mkhwebane is taking aim at the DA because we were are essentially low-hanging fruit for her. She will not act against the Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, but is happy to pursue frivolous charges against an MP trying to hold the Executive to account.

The DA reported Mahlobo for lying to Parliament because there is a developing trend of members of the Executive misleading the Legislature, as well as concomitant efforts to shield the perpetrators. This was illustrated dramatically in recent months when a report identifying those who misled or lied to the SABC Ad Hoc Committee, completed by Parliament’s Legal Services Unit, was kept under wraps by the Speaker to the National Assembly for months.

We cannot allow Parliament’s oversight mandate to be undermined by an Executive that simply lies or obfuscates when confronted with difficult questions, seemingly without consequence. We had hoped the Public Protector would recognise the important role her Office could play in combating this trend. Sadly, we have been left disappointed. The DA will not be deterred. No amount of scaremongering will distract us from our core function.

Issued by Mike WatersDeputy Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, 5 September 2017