Police Minister Bheki Cele has criticized Public Protector Advocate, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, claiming that she should exercise her powers due especially pertaining to structures of government.
This is after Mkhwebane suffered yet another court defeat setting aside the findings of a report.
This time around the High Court in Pretoria set aside Mkhwebane’s findings that Cele and the SA Police Service (SAPS) had failed to protect the lives of whistle-blowers in KwaZulu Natal.
The matter related to allegations of corruption in the uMzimkhulu local municipality.
Former ANC Youth League Sindiso Magaqa was gunned in what was a suspected political hit related to his blowing the whistle on corruption in the tender for the upgrading of the uMzimkhulu Memorial Hall.
In August 2018, Mkhwebane ruled against Cele, saying he had been grossly negligent and conducted himself improperly in handling the protection of Thabiso Zulu and Lesley Stuta, who were both witnesses in her probe.
Mkhwebane had also called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to reprimand Cele.
But the court agreed with Cele that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was responsible for witness protection.
“The Police Minister has called on the office of the Public Protector to exercise due diligence in her findings, especially pertaining to structures of Government,” a statement from the SAPS reads.
“It has always been clear that while protection of witnesses is paramount, it remains the sole responsibility of the National Prosecution Authority as stated in the Witness Protection Act. The Public Protector should have known this,” said Cele.