Wednesday , October 27 2021

Estina dairy use: Public Protector takes to Twitter to defend itself after deciding the costs


Following a Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruling that found public patron Busisiwe Mkhwebane and her office to pay for legal costs in the Estina milk production project, her office took to Twitter on Friday to defend itself.

It released a preliminary report from November 2014, which was addressed by Mkhwebane & # 39; s predecessor Thuli Madonsela, commenting that the report contained no conclusions against any politician as no investigation was done by politicians.

"It commands the Prime Minister to take action against the HOD and the Chief Financial Officer," the Public Protector's Office said.

When Mkhwebane took office in October 2016, she inherited the preliminary report prepared by Madonsela.

The Public Protector also tweeted corrective actions in the final report, dated February 2018, and the corrective action in the preliminary report, dated November 2018, stating a "preliminary report is a draft document and therefore subject to editing, and it did not been sent to the parties for comment ".

Mkhwebane quietly released the report in 2018, highlighting irregularities in tenders, "gross negligence" and errors and omissions in connection with the controversial project.

She recommended, as a remedy, that former Free State Prime Minister Ace Magashule "initiate and initiate disciplinary action against all government officials involved in the Angry Dairy Project".

However, the DA was of the opinion that Mkhwebane was not "cautious" in her investigation and that senior politicians involved in the project had not been interviewed.

& # 39; Total taxpayer disregard & # 39;

The report gave rise to public outrage as it failed to reach conclusions against Magashule and former Free State Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

News24 previously reported that part 2 of Mkhwebane & # 39; s investigation of the dairy farm Estina is currently underway. Spokesman Oupa Segalwe told News24 that Part 2 dealt with the role of politicians in the case as well as "the situation of members of the public who were intended to benefit from the project".

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that Mkhwebane had failed South Africa's population with its first dairy consumption investigation in Estina, which had previously been set aside.

The court ruled that she should be personally liable for the costs and pay 7.5% of DA & # 39; s legal costs and 7.5% of the Council for the Promotion of the South African Constitution (Casac).

The court also ruled that the public patron should pay 85% of DA & # 39; s attorney's fees and 85% of Casac in her official capacity.

Judge Ronel Tolmay paralyzed Mkhwebane in her ruling, saying she had shown a "total disregard for taxpayers who will have to take the bill and fly in light of her complaint about how financial constraints limited her ability to properly investigate".

"The public protector's failures and neglect of duty in the Estina case are manifold. They speak to her failure to perform her duties under the Constitution and the Public Protection Act," Judge Tolmay added.

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