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Mkhwebane accuses state security minister of undermining her authority

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has laid a criminal complaint against Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba over what she says is the interference with the functioning of her office.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has accused State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba of undermining her authority.

Mkwhebane on Wednesday laid a criminal complaint against the minister over what she called the interference with the functioning of her office.

Last week, the City Press reported that the minister opened a criminal case against Mkhwebane, accusing her of stealing information and violating the country’s security laws after she allegedly got hold of a classified state document.

But Mkhwebane said she approached the police because the minister failed to avail a declassified version of the document she required in connection with an investigation into the alleged violation of the Executive Members Ethics Code by former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

It was Letsatsi-Duba who fired the first salvo, suggesting the Public Protector illegally obtained a classified document.

“The report is classified and marked ‘secret’ in accordance with the national information policy. The report must be returned because it’s classified.”

Mkhwebane fired back, saying it was the minister who violated the law by refusing to declassify the document and hand it over.

Her spokesperson Oupa Segwale said, “The law is very clear; the Public Protector has the power to direct any person to produce any document, which as a bearing on a matter under investigation.”

Mkhwebane said in doing her work, she must not be inhibited, undermined or sabotaged as previously declared by the Constitutional Court.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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