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Mkhwebane warns that state capture inquiry could top R1bn it if runs beyond 2020

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane insisted that there were ways to save time and resources.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: @PublicProtector/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busiswe Mkhwebane has warned that if the state capture inquiry runs beyond this year, it would cost taxpayers more than R1 billion.

On Sunday, the Sunday Times reported that Mkhwebane had written an affidavit offering to narrow the terms of reference of the inquiry, saying she could have conducted the probe for a fraction of the cost.

The Public Protector insisted that there were ways to save time and resources.

Her spokesperson Oupa Segalwe: "The Public Protector makes the point that remedial action 8.10 in the State of Capture report has already made provision for law enforcement agencies to conduct their own investigations in line with the evidence gathered or reflected in the report."

Meanwhile, the provincial representative in the Public Protector's Free State office has joined calls for Mkhwebane's conduct to be investigated.

He's written to Parliament, accusing her of financial mismanagement and misconduct.

The latest damning accusation comes as the Public Protector tries to stop a parliamentary process aimed at removing her from office.

But Segalwe said that the allegations had been made in bad faith.

"At this stage, the Public Protector has not ruled out the possibility that these staff members may be working with external parties who have been pushing for a very long time for her impeachment on the premise that the disclosures of people within will carry more weight than claims of outsiders."