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HomeNewsWitness claims Mkhwebane refused to authorise subpoenas for politicians in Vrede Dairy...

Witness claims Mkhwebane refused to authorise subpoenas for politicians in Vrede Dairy farm investigation

This was the claim made on Wednesday by Office of the Public Protector’s Free State representative Sphelo Samuel, who said Mkhwebane did not want findings to be made against implicated politicians.

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Samuel made the claim while testifying during the parliamentary inquiry into the fitness of Mkhwebane to hold public office, saying Zwane and Magashule were not cooperating with the investigation.

He told the inquiry that Mkhwebane had required a draft report in preparation for a visit to Vrede, which was to take place in April 2017.

Samuel said subpoenas could only be issued to politicians by Mkhwebane but he had delegated powers to subpoena only officials.

“I requested the Public Protector for permission to issue subpoenas because they were not cooperating with us. They were not responding to our advances, meetings or providing information,” he said.

Samuel said it was on the day of inspection when he was taken around the dairy farm that he made his request to Mkhwebane.

“Her response was that she does not want any findings against politicians. She declined my request to prepare subpoenas for her signature,” he said.

“I accepted her directive at the time and knew I could not take the matter any further. I had to rely on what was available to me,” Samuel said, adding he prepared the draft report and made findings against Magashule and Zwane.

The investigation was sparked by a complaint from DA MPL Roy Jankielsohn following an investigation by the National Treasury, which found procurement irregularities and recommended disciplinary action against officials.

When former public protector Thuli Madonsela started the investigation, she issued an unsigned provisional report in November 2014.

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