No evidence Masondo used state resources to settle personal score - Mkhwebane

After two years of accusations of the abuse of state power, Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo has now been cleared of setting specialised policing unit, the Hawks, on his ex-lover.

Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo. Picture: @BlackBCouncil/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - After two years of accusations of the abuse of state power, Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo has now been cleared of setting specialised policing unit, the Hawks, on his ex-lover.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in a report released on Tuesday, said there was no evidence to support the allegations that Masondo used his influence and state resources to settle a personal matter.

The woman, known as Ms X to protect her identity, was arrested by the Hawks in 2019 after she allegedly tried to solicit a R300,000 bribe from the deputy minister. She, in turn, laid charges of her own against Masondo which included intimidation and defamation.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to pursue any of the charges against both parties.

Masondo told the Public Protector that his office had nothing to do with his opening a case against an ex-lover, nor did he use his position to influence how the Hawks and the NPA should handle the matter.

His affidavit was consistent with the outcome of Mkhwebane’s report, which found allegations that Masondo violated the executive ethics code when he reported the alleged extortion could not be corroborated.

She said there was no evidence that he used his job as the country’s deputy finance minister to settle a score with Ms X.

“There was no evidence to support the allegations that Mr Masondo used his influence and state resources to settle a personal score,” she said.

Mkhwebane also said that the deputy minister was not exercising public power or performing a public function.

“His conduct was consistent with the Section 34 of the Constitution, which guarantees everyone the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by application of the law decided in a fair public hearing,” said the Public Protector.

Masondo during this period has faced calls from some of his detractors in the African National Congress (ANC) to step aside from his role in the executive and as principal of the OR Tambo School of Leadership.

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