Mabuza’s Mpumalanga office found guilty of irregular purchase of luxury cars

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says there is no evidence suggesting that former premier of Mpumalanga David Mabuza was involved in the purchasing of the luxury cars.

FILE: Former Premier of Mpumalanga David Mabuza. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found the office of the former premier of Mpumalanga David Mabuza irregularly procured official vehicles to the tune of R5 million.

“The Mpumalanga office of the premier irregularly procured the official vehicles for the former premier [Mr David Mabuza]. So, the official of the premier violated the ministerial handbook,” she said.

Mkhwebane, however, says there is no evidence suggesting that Mabuza was involved in the purchasing of the luxury cars, which include an Audi A8, Range Rover Evoque, BMW X5 and a Lexus.

His accounting officer Nonhlanhla Mkhize, however, has been found to have committed financial misconduct during the procurement of the vehicles.

In 2014, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) laid a complaint against Mabuza, alleging his office had procured three luxury vehicles worth R5 million not long after former Finance Minister Pravin Gordan had instructed the government to tighten its belt.

Mkhwebane also reiterated that the decision by the High Court in Pretoria to declare her report into the Vrede project unconstitutional and invalid did not warrant her removal from office and she would be appealing it.

After the court ruled to set aside the Public Protector’s report on the Estina dairy project in Vrede, Free State, the Democratic Alliance reinstated its calls for Mkhwebane to be removed from office.

“A finding by a court that I am wrong in law in relation to an investigation I conducted doesn’t warrant removal from office. It does not even amount to incompetence,” she said.

Mkhwebane’s initial report made no findings against Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane who were Free State premier and agriculture MEC, respectively, at the time.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)