Public Protector’s Report on maladministration by the former Bapo Ba Mogale Administration and the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs in the Management of Bapo Ba Mogale “D-Account”
On 19 June 2017, the Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane issued a report following an investigation “into alleged improper prejudice suffered by Bapo Ba Mogale Community as a result of maladministration by the former Bapo Ba Mogale Administration and the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs in the management Of Bapo Ba Mogale D-Account”.
In this report, the Public Protector made an observation regarding payment for legal fees to Eiser and Kantor Attorneys. Her observation was that the amount paid appeared to be exorbitant. Based on these observations, the remedial action taken by the Public Protector was that the Head of the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs must refer the legal costs incurred by the Bapo Ba Mogale Administration to the Law Society of South Africa for an assessment and verification of fairness in relation to the fees concerned.
The above-mentioned report is currently under judicial review.
Today, the Public Protector received a media enquiry regarding alleged tampering with the record. The Public Protector would like to place on record that, in terms of rule 53 of the High Court Rules, she is required to file the record with the registrar of the court.
The Public Protector is still sorting out the records, which will be filed with the registrar of the court on or before the 25 September 2017.
Accordingly, the records to be filed are invoices and payments made to Eiser and Kantor Attorneys, which records are in Mr Eiser’s possession. Therefore, it is for these reasons that the allegations of tampering with records, before perusal of those documents or having sight thereof, are grossly unfounded, malicious and defamatory to the character of the Public Protector.
Further to the above, there are allegations that Mr Eiser was not contacted during the investigation. The Public Protector would like to place on record that only those implicated in the matter being investigated are entitled to a notice in terms of section 7(9) of the Public Protector Act. The Public Protector did not make any findings against Mr Eiser or Eiser and Kantor Attorneys regarding legal fees. All she did was to direct that all the legal fees paid to Eiser and Kantor Attorneys by Bapo Ba Mogale Administration be referred to t he Law Society of South Africa for assessment and verification of their fairness. Mr Eiser or Eiser and Kantor Attorneys will have an opportunity to defend or respond to the Law Society of South Africa during the aforesaid assessment and verification.
There are currently twenty-two active judicial review applications against the Public Protector’s reports and only two (out of the twenty-two) were issued by Adv. Mkhwebane.
The Public Protector shall continue to exercise her powers and perform her functions independently; without fear, favour or prejudice and subject only to the constitution and the law.