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MPs to quiz Mkhwebane on Vrede dairy probe

06 March 2018 - 09:45 By Claudi Mailovich
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will face MPs on Tuesday to respond to allegations that she suppressed information in her office’s Vrede dairy project investigation‚ which has been widely dismissed as a whitewash.

Mkhwebane was summoned to appear before the justice and correctional services committee in February to explain statements she had made‚ but her appearance had to be postponed until Tuesday.

Committee chairman Mathole Motshekga told Business Day that the office of the public protector had four years to investigate the Vrede dairy project — in which the Guptas and their associates have been implicated in fraud and corruption — and that it appeared from comments she had made that it did not get co-operation from some provincial politicians and officials during the probe.

The DA and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution have both taken the report on review.

Mkhwebane had indicated in the report — in which she recommended‚ among other things‚ that Free State Premier Ace Magashule take disciplinary action against implicated officials — that she did not investigate crucial aspects of the scandal due to capacity and financial constraints. These included leaked Gupta e-mails.

Business Day