Public Protector releases finalised investigation reports
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela today released four reports, the first three related to the conduct of the state towards ordinary citizens while the fourth dealt with a senior member of Cabinet. The reports are titled: Two Wrongs No Rights, A Costly Promise, State Power-Political Games and Costly Letters.
Two Wrongs No Rights is a complaint about //Khara Hais Municipality in which the complaint alleged that the Municipality wrongfully reallocated a stand to another occupant who later built a house on it. The Public Protector found that by reallocating the stand the Municipality failed to comply with the Municipal policies and Council resolutions and therefore constitutes improper conduct and amount to maladministration. The remedial action taken by the Public Protector is that in view of the fact that restitution may not be possible, the Municipality must in consultation with the complainant identify and alternative stand to be allocated to him.
A Costly Promise involves the loss of a house by a military veteran allegedly due to to allegations of undue delay by the then Department of Defence in the implementation of a Revised Non-Statutory Forces Pension Dispensation that was approved by Cabinet in April 2009. The Department allegedly further made a number of unmet promises regarding anticipated dates of payment, which the complainant conveyed to a bank that wanted to repossess his home. The bank eventually sold the house on auction. The Public Protector found that the Department did not discharge its obligations and duties towards the complainant with due diligence and in good faith when it made commitments which it did not honour. The Public Protector’s remedial action is that the Department in collaboration with GPAA must take urgent steps to attend to any outstanding issues relating to the Complainant’s pension and take immediate action to honour the commitment made to the Public Protector by the previous Minister regarding the alternate accommodation for the Complainant.
State Power –Political Games relates to an investigation of a complaint lodged by Ms Thandi Moraka after she was arrested and detained by an off-duty traffic police officer while on her way home from an African National Congress Youth League Conference that was taking place at that time. She alleged that the arrest had been ordered by Ms Pinky Kekana MEC for Roads and Transport in Limpopo and the Premier of Limpopo to settle Political scores.
The Public Protector found that the former MEC Pinky Kekana acted improperly and abused her position as MEC in ordering the arrest. She further found that action by Ms Kekana amounted to maladministration in that she employed state resources to settle a political score while she was attending a private party-political event.
The remedial action to be taken is that the Premier and Provincial Legislature must within 30 days from the date of the report take disciplinary action against Ms Kekana, the Head of Department must issue a written apology to the complainant and that the report must be tabled in the Limpopo provincial Legislature and that Ms Kekana must during the sitting submit a written apology to Ms Moraka for the prejudicial treatment she suffered.
Costly Letters is a report following an investigation of an allegation of improper involvement of the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe and his partner Ms Gugu Mtshali, in a business transaction with the Islamic Republic of Iran. A newspaper reported alleged that Mr Motlanthe’s life partner Ms Gugu Mtshali was “implicated in soliciting a bribe to obtain a sanctions-busting deal with Iran.”
The Public Protector found Ms Mtshali was present at a business meeting held on 17 February 2011 where the support of the South African Government for a business transaction involving 360 Aviation and the Islamic Republic of Iran was discussed but when Ms Mtshali was invited to the meeting, she was not informed that Mr Oberholzer would be present and that government support for 360 Aviation would be discussed.
Ms Mtshali was neither invited to nor did she participate in the discussions relating to government support for the business transaction of 360 Aviation in Iran. Ms Mtshali did not solicit or accept a bribe to help 360 Aviation and the Islamic Republic of Iran in their business venture and as such did not violate any provisions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 or any other law.
It was also found that Ms Mtshali was not a party to or involved in the agreement between Mr Oberholzer and Messrs Masebelanga and Moeketsi in terms of which a fee of R10 million would be paid and shares on 360 Aviation would be transferred in return for them obtaining a letter of government support for 360 Aviation to do business in Iran.
The Public Protector further found that an agreement was reached between 360 Aviation’s Mr Oberholzer and Messrs Masebelanga, Moeketsi and Mboweni regarding the procurement by Mr Masebelanga and company of government support for 360 Aviation’s Iranian aircraft trading venture. The amount agreed to was US$1million or R10 million then. However, not enough evidence could be found to justify a finding that the agreement constitutes the solicitation or acceptance or intention to offer a bribe or gratification in violation of section 3 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act. The remedial action taken by the Public Protector is that The Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure that the recommendations of the Grant Thornton Report on the forensic investigation into the issuing of the letter of support dated 12 April 2011, commissioned by the Department and issued in July 2012, are implemented expeditiously in respect of the developing of a policy framework regulating the issuing of letters of support for companies wishing to do business abroad.
For full reports visit:
On behalf of
Public Protector South Africa
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
Toll Free: 0800 11 20 40
Friday, September 28, 2012