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Kieswetter probe already started, says Public Protector's office

It’s been confirmed that Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane will investigate the appointment of South African Revenue Services (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

 South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter. Picture: @sarstax/Twitter

PRETORIA - As the Public Protector heads to court on Thursday seeking leave to appeal the decision to review and set aside her Estina dairy farm report, it’s been confirmed that Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane will investigate the appointment of South African Revenue Services (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

Her office said that Mkhwebane would also probe numerous revenue service appointments and human resources decisions dating back to 2009.

While the Public Protector has not revealed the identities of the complainants, it was the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which alleged in March that Kieswetter was a business associate and friend of former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.

Manuel chaired the panel which interviewed and shortlisted candidates for the position after President Cyril Ramaphosa fired former commissioner Tom Moyane.

The Public Protector’s Oupa Segalwe said the office received two complaints this year - one related to staff matters and the other related to the appointment of Kieswetter.

"The two investigations have already started. The investigation files have been allocated to two separate investigators within our good governance and integrity unit. We've already sent correspondences to Sars and other institutions affected to request information."

Meanwhile, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane would today ask the High Court in Pretoria for permission to appeal the same court’s decision to review and set aside her Estina dairy farm report.

On Wednesday, one of the intended beneficiaries of that project told the state capture commission of inquiry that they did not trust the Public Protector because they were sidelined during her investigation of the project.