All in a day's work: Public protector slams Mbalula, Zille and Mogajane

20 December 2018 - 09:00 By Odwa Mjo
Busisiwe Mkhwebane released findings on Fikile Mbalula, Helen Zille and Dondo Magojane.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane released findings on Fikile Mbalula, Helen Zille and Dondo Magojane.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

To end off the year, public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released three reports that had the country talking on Wednesday.

Fikile Mbalula

Mkhwebane found that former police minister Fikile Mbalula violated the constitution by asking  Sedgars, sporting  goods supplier for the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), to pay for his family trip to Dubai in 2016.

Mbalula said he had obtained a R648,000 loan from Sedgars to go on the holiday. But Mkhwebane said she did not have any evidence that Mbalula obtained a loan before going on the trip to Dubai. She said there was evidence that Mbalula paid R275,000 into the account of the company that paid his travel expenses.

Mkhwebane said it was inappropriate for Mbalula to have entered into a "loan agreement" with Yusuf Dockrat, "a director of a company doing business with Sascoc". 

She did not recommend any action against Mbalula, as he is no longer a member of cabinet. However she did order the NPA to investigate possible money laundering.

Helen Zille

Mkhwebane found that Western Cape premier Helen Zille violated the executive ethics code by assisting her son to get tablets from the provincial education department for maths classes for disadvantaged matric pupils.

Zille's son, teacher Paul Maree, volunteered to offer extra maths lessons to matric pupils in Khayelitsha in 2014.

Mkhwebane said Zille's intervention in helping her son access the tablets "exposed her to the risk of conflict between her official responsibilities as a first citizen of the province and private interests, which involved her son". She requested that the speaker of the Western Cape legislature takes appropriate action against Zille within 30 working days.

Zille said in a tweet that she would be taking the matter up for review.

Dondo Mogajane

Mkhwebane has ordered President Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane for not declaring that he had a criminal offence for a speeding ticket before taking the job at the Treasury.

The public protector said Mogajane's offence spoke to the honesty of the DG, adding that then finance minister Malusi Gigaba should have ensured that Mogajane complied with the constitution upon hiring him.

The public protector's three latest rulings were the trending topic of the day, with many social media users weighing in with their opinions.