Oscar Mabuyane taking Hawks to court to block probe against him
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Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has filed court papers in the high court to challenge the Hawks' probe against him, claiming it is a “witch-hunt”.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane made damning findings that Mabuyane irregularly benefited from a R1.1 million tender for the memorial service of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
In her report released last week, Mkhwebane ordered the Hawks to investigate allegations that Mabuyane received R450 000 that was used to renovate his house while he was member of the executive council (MEC) for economic development.
In her findings, the public protector also said MEC Babalo Madikizela and the provincial ANC itself benefited to the tune of R350 000 and R280 000 respectively, from R1.1million siphoned out of the coffers of the provincial government.
Mabuyane’s court papers filed at the Eastern Cape high court refer to the investigation as unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.
He has also requested that the Hawks’ refusal to provide Mabuyane’s legal team with information on the allegations be set aside.
In an interview on Thursday, his lawyer Ngqiqo Sakhela described the matter as “unspecified allegations” against Mabuyane.
Mabuyane’s affidavit says his vocal standpoint about suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule stepping aside has created enemies with members of the party’s national executive committee, particularly Magashule himself.
According to Mabuyane, Magashule fuelled the investigation in an interview in May, alleging that Mabuyane has close ties with President Cyril Rampahosa and for this reason the Hawks have not investigated the matter.
Hawks head General Godfrey Lebeya confirmed that the Hawks initiated the investigation in May 2019 and by March this year, the directorate had completed gathering evidence.
Lebeya dismissed the witch-hunt claims, emphasising that all personnel within the Hawks had taken an oath of office to uphold and protect the Constitution and to enforce the law without fear, favour or prejudice.