Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is expected to testify in the impeachment inquiry of her successor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, today.
Parliament’s Section 194 committee decided to summon Madonsela to appear after she had declined to, saying the information the inquiry sought from her was with the Public Protector’s office.
Madonsela, who left the position six years ago, said officials were best placed to answer Mkhwebane’s questions.
The inquiry is expected to hand its decision to the National Assembly by the end of April for a vote to be taken on Mkhwebane’s impeachment.
#SABCNews Headlines @06H30 AM | 01 March 2023
Yesterday, the Public Protector investigator who was in charge of investigating the so-called rogue unit in the South African Revenue Service, Bianca Mvuyana, admitted that she had not interviewed anyone who worked for the unit. This is despite the Public Protector finding that Minister Pravin Gordhan, who was then SARS Commissioner, had violated intelligence laws by overseeing the establishment of “an intelligence unit” at Sars.
On her first day before the hearing, under cross examination by Advocate Dali Mpofu, who represents Mkhwebane, Mvuyana expressed pride in the work they had done during their investigation of the so-called “rogue unit”. At that time, she maintained that the Public Protector played almost no role in investigations. For this reason she said, if there were allegations of bias against certain people, those allegations would be against her as the investigator.
She, however, could not maintain that line when facing evidence leader, Nazreen Bawa.
The report also directed that criminal charges be laid against several Sars officials for violating intelligence laws.
Mvuyana, who was the lead investigator, was asked by Bawa if he had interviewed any witnesses with direct knowledge of the activities of the investigative unit.
Mvuyana was giving evidence yesterday before the parliamentary inquiry into Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.
“What affidavits of any member of the alleged Sars unit did you have in your possession under oath indicating any form of evidence?” asked Bawa.
“I’m not sure. Did we say we had evidence?” responded Mvuyana.
“Did you interview any of them and take an affidavit?”
One of the first witnesses at the inquiry, Johan van Loggerenberg, complained bitterly that the Public Protector had not made any attempts to hear him out before making findings that changed his life.
Mvuyana told the committee that they had sent a messenger to an address they had been given but that he was not found there.
Bawa pointed her to evidence that showed they actually knew how to get hold of van Loggerenberg.