The new Public Protector Busisiwe Mkwebane appeared before parliament to brief MPs on the institution’s annual report.
Mkhwebane revealed that the public protector’s budget for the current financial year is R262-million, but R122-million has already been spent. The report indicated that there has been around R5-million in irregular expenditure. This was incurred during Thuli Madonsela’s tenure which ended last week.
When pressed by MPs Mkhwebane admitted that the office received $500 000 funding from USAID when Advocate Thuli Madonsela was in the reigns. She admitted that this donation has a potential of compromising the independence of her office.
“Donor funding, it’s a thing of the past, especially coming from the environment where I was working which is not a secret. I was working for the State Security Agency and I know the implications of that,” Mkhwebane told parliamentarians.
Mkhwebane promised parliament that her office will no longer receive international donations like during the period when Madonsela was the PP.
“Utilisation of consultants was a challenge in the office and I need to put it on record that I doubt we will have a clean audit the next financial year. The irregular expenditure of R5-million definitely will not be repeated,” Mkhwebane said.
She confirmed that she had received the state capture report. “The report is kept safely in the safe of the head of legal services because I don’t have a safe in my office.”