A provisional report addressed to a Democratic Alliance MP and which the party mistakenly sent out to the public‚ raised the ire of the Public Protector on Monday.
The Public Protector’s office accused the DA of pushing a certain narrative around its investigation into State Security Minister David Mahlobo.
The DA released a statement on Monday saying it was deeply disappointed that the Public Protector had chosen to absolve Mahlobo‚ despite evidence that he lied in Parliament.
The party then shared a provisional report‚ which was sent to it and which was a confidential document.
Public Protector spokeswoman Cleopatra Mosana said this was a provisional report.
“At some point‚ we need to make the DA account for undermining the office of the Public Protector. The DA must not use the office of the Public Protector for political gain. This is malicious‚” Mosana said.
She said Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had asked the DA MP Mike Waters to respond to her within a specified date if it did not agree with the report.
“Instead‚ the DA does not respond to the Public Protector‚ but wants to create drama and public sympathy. We are not in a picnic.
“You must ask the DA why it is perpetuating this unlawful conduct‚” Mosana said.
Waters‚ who is the DA deputy chief whip‚ said on Monday afternoon a staff member had inadvertently sent the report with the press release.
“I called the PP office and sent her an email explaining this‚” Waters said in a text message.
Waters had reported Mahlobo to the Public Protector in November last year for violating the Executive Members Ethics Act.
Waters said Mahlobo had deliberately misled Parliament about his relationship with #feesmustfall leader Mcebo Dlamini.
On November 16‚ Mahlobo told Parliament‚ in reply to a question from DA MP Belinda Bozzoli‚ that “Mcebo has not been to my house”.
But two days before‚ Mahlobo had said in a panel discussion hosted by the Institute for Security Studies that: “And I happen to know Mcebo (Dlamini). He has been to my house several times.
The DA said the closing report of the Public Protector found that Mahlobo had not violated the Executive Members Ethics Act.
“We do not accept this attempt to explain away Mahlobo’s blatant lies and his deliberate attempt to mislead the Legislature. We look forward to pursuing this matter further in the Powers and Privileges Committee to which this matter has also been referred‚” Waters said.