Public protector finds David Masondo did not abuse his power to settle personal score
The public protector has cleared finance deputy minister David Masondo of any wrongdoing after a complaint that he abused state resources to settle a personal score with an ex-lover.
The complaint lodged by an unidentified complainant came after reports that Masondo had, in 2019, allegedly set the Hawks on his ex-mistress for extortion, following disagreements over a financial settlement for counselling after the woman allegedly underwent an abortion at the advice of the deputy minister.
In a report released on Tuesday, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane said the Hawks explained in response to a letter of enquiry from her office that Masondo approached the Gauteng serious corruption investigation unit and reported a case of extortion.
The Hawks told the public protector that the case Masondo reported fell within their mandate and that he had not received preferential treatment when he reported the case.
Mkhwebane said evidence before her showed that Masondo sought to have the dispute he had with the woman investigated and ultimately decided in a court of law.
“There is no evidence showing that the deputy minister either gave specific instructions or directed the DPCI [Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks] as to how it should handle the complaint.
“The DPCI submitted that upon the evaluation of the case reported by the deputy minister, it was established that it was a corruption-related case that falls within its mandate,” Mkhwebane said.
She found that allegations that Masondo violated the executive ethics code when he reported the case directly to the Hawks, which resulted in the arrest of the woman, could not be corroborated.
“There was no evidence to support the allegation that the deputy minister used his influence and state resources to settle a personal score with Ms X. Further that, the deputy minister did not influence the manner in which the DPCI registered and investigated the alleged extortion case.”