DA trying to step into public protector's shoes, court told

24 October 2018 - 10:32
By Penwell Dlamini
Democratic Alliance flag
Image: FILE PHOTO Democratic Alliance flag

Lawyers representing public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane have argued that the application to review her report on the Vrede dairy farm project is simply political.

Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana, SC, told the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday that the application is about the DA imposing its own investigation method on the public protector.

"It is about the DA and Casac [Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution] trying to impose their own outcome of the investigation conducted by the public protector...They want this court to get into the shoes of the public protector...and perform the function of the public protector," said Ngalwana.

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The DA and Casac have applied in court  to get Mkhwebane's report on the Vrede dairy farm project, released in February, set aside. More than R220m was allegedly poured into the project, with only R2m spent on the actual farm.

The project was implemented in partnership with Gupta-linked company Estina, which  allegedly transferred money from the project to the controversial family. Judge Ronel Tolmay questioned Ngalwana's argument that the application was simply a political ploy.

"The fact that a political party brings a matter to court...doesn't make it political," Tolmay said. "For the purposes of this court I am confined to the facts before this court."