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Mkhwebane's findings against Robert McBride puts deputy PP bid in jeopardy

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said that during Robert McBride’s tenure, a deputy director was irregularly appointed while a whistleblower who lodged the complaint to her office, was unfairly suspended.

FILE: Former Ipid head Robert McBride. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has made damning findings against former Ipid head Robert McBride.

Mkhwebane released just under 20 reports of her investigations that include former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini's South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) saga and former Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant's disclosures on Accenture.

The Public Protector found that Dlamini did not mislead Parliament about Cash Paymaster Services' inability to pay out grants.

She said during McBride’s tenure, a deputy director was irregularly appointed while a whistleblower who lodged the complaint to her office, was unfairly suspended.

“We found that Ipid failed to do proper procurement processes when it appointed Fidelity Security to the services of an investigative analyst for the interpretation of cellular data in the criminal investigation. We also found that Ipid improperly appointed Miss Theresa Botha as deputy director without following appropriate recruitment processes.”

Botha was appointed in August 2017, earning a salary of R657,558 per annum. The report found Ipid used R34,000 to pay for a post advertisement. That position did not exist at the time. Mkhwebane further said Botha used more than R100,000 for travelling and accommodation.

Mkhwebane added that Botha received R1.1 million more than she should have as a salary, which the Public Protector said amounted to irregular expenditure and a violation of the Public Finance Management Act by McBride.

McBride has put his hat in the ring for deputy Public Protector's job and these latest findings are likely to have a bearing on his bid.

Editor's note: a previous version of this story stated that McBride was implicated at the State Capture inquiry. This is incorrect and has been edited. We apologise for the error.