Witness says Mkhwebane never instructed him to remove content from reports

Futana Tebele’s account differs from previous witnesses, who told Parliament’s impeachment inquiry that adverse findings against politicians were removed in the Vrede Dairy farm case.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on 25 March 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - A senior manager in the Public Protector’s Office, said Busisiwe Mkhwebane never instructed him to change or remove content from any investigative reports.

Futana Tebele’s account differs from previous witnesses, who told Parliament’s impeachment inquiry that adverse findings against politicians were removed in the Vrede Dairy farm case. Tebele has been fielding questions from MPs looking into the suspended Public Protector’s fitness to hold office.

Tebele said his involvement in the quality assurance of reports, was largely only editorial. He said he engaged directly with investigators when he found something amiss: "I never got an instruction from the PP to change a particular report in that fashion. And I don’t think it would have been proper. Not that I should take it first to the PP and tell the PP that I don’t agree, that was never my approach".

Tebele said he was not involved in the controversial CIEX report, which recommended the mandate of the Reserve Bank be changed. "I can’t recall what was in that report, and the recommendations that were in that report. Those, I wouldn’t recall them," he said.

Tebele said ultimately it was the Public Protector who had the final say on what was contained in the reports.