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Mkhwebane takes exception to police statement on her investigating process

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said that she took exception to a statement by the police which she said suggested that she did not exercise due diligence when conducting investigations.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said that she took exception to a statement by the police which she said suggested that she did not exercise due diligence when conducting investigations.

Mkhwebane suffered another legal blow in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday.

The court vindicated Minister Bheki Cele in his stance that the police were not responsible for providing witness protection to two KwaZulu-Natal whistleblowers.

The Pretoria High Court declared invalid and set aside a 2018 report by the Public Protector which accused Police Minister Cele of gross negligence, improper conduct and maladministration.

Mkhwebane had suggested that Cele’s undue delays in providing protection to KZN whistleblowers Thabiso Zulu and Lesley Stuta exposed them to danger.

Cele on Thursday called on the Public Protector to exercise due diligence in her findings and Mkhwebane has not taken kindly to this.

Her spokesperson Oupa Segalwe: "This is a follow up to what the minister said some time last year. He effectively said: 'The Public Protector uyaphapha' [the Public Protector is being forward]. The Public Protector is concerned about these kinds of utterances coming from members of the executive."

Mkhwebane said that she still held the strong view that the constitutional duty of the police was to provide safety and security for citizens.