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Mkhwebane denies helping Magashule, seeks legal counsel to appeal Estina Farm ruling

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says she never aided Ace Magashule fiddle with former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report and says she’s seeking legal counsel to make the report public.

Speaking on Morning Live on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule was never implicated in the Estina Dairy Farm’s provisional report, prepared by former public protector Thuli Madonsela. She also announced that she was considering legal options following the ruling to set aside her report into the R200 million Vrede Farm scandal by the High Court in Pretoria, declaring it unconstitutional and invalid.

Reports alleged that the R200 million in public funds was meant for emerging black farmers in the Free State town but found its way into Estina, a company allegedly linked to the Gupta family. Some of the money was allegedly used for the Gupta’s Sun City wedding in 2013.

Joining the conversation on Morning Live was Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) secretary Lawson Naidoo, who accused Mkhwebane of being deceitful.

“Mkhwebane has never explained why she altered the provisional report in material ways, which made far-reaching findings against senior politicians implicated in this project.

“She simply deleted the findings and remedial action without any explanation whatsoever,” he said

Mkhwebane hit back to these accusations, saying that Magashule, who was then Free State premier at the time, was never mentioned in the initial report.

“The provisional report deals purely with officials. The report which I issued … I included all officials that were involved, because it was also the legal senior manager in the premier’s office who was involved in the drafting of the report.

“The way you’re mentioning it, Mr Naidoo, that’s not how we investigate. I mean you cannot rely on Gupta leaks,” she said.

Abenathi Gqomo

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