Public protector digs deep into Aaron Motsoaledi's past

09 February 2020 - 00:02 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has "resurrected" an eight-year-old case against home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi, involving a royal family, a court interdict and a controversial funeral.

The apparent case against Motsoaledi, viewed as a close ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa, comes as Mkhwebane faces a process in parliament to remove her from office after a string of damning court judgments questioned her legal ability and her honesty.

Even as the storm clouds gather over the embattled protector, for Mkhwebane it appears to be business as usual, as she targets Motsoaledi among a long list of those allied to the Ramaphosa camp, while seemingly turning a blind eye to other, glaring cases.

Her latest investigation relates to a complaint that Motsoaledi allegedly interfered in the family affairs of the Maserumule royal family in Limpopo in 2012.

This comes as the public protector is taking legal action against parliament in a bid to halt the process to remove her.

Mkhwebane claims the rules to remove her are unconstitutional and unlawful.

This week Mkhwebane, through her lawyers, defended her decision to probe bank accounts linked to Ramaphosa's ANC presidency campaign.

Motsoaledi is said to view the latest instalment of Mkhwebane's campaign as "hilarious".

Mkhwebane has written to Motsoaledi, informing him she is investigating allegations of abuse of power and maladministration against him.

Mkhwebane's spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, confirmed that Mkhwebane was investigating Motsoaledi.

Motsoaledi confirmed receiving the letter, but declined to comment.

The matter related to a family dispute in the Maserumule royal family that began following the death of Selina Maserumule, a senior member of the family.

This had apparently led to a court interdict barring some family members from entering the royal house.

Motsoaledi is alleged to have abused his ministerial powers and "allowed interdicted family members to occupy the Maserumule royal house".


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