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Cele feels vindicated after court overturns Mkhwebane's whistleblower report

4 June 2020 1:27 PM
Tags:
Public Protector
Bheki Cele
whistleblowers
Busisiwe Mhwebane

The police minister spokesperson says finally the court has ruled Saps wasn't supposed to provide protection for Zulu and Stuta.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has suffered yet another legal blow after the Pretoria High Court vindicated Police Minister Bheki Cele after her 2018 report found gross negligence, improper conduct, and maladministration.

The Public Protector in 2018 found Cele had failed to provide witness protection for two whistle-blowers from KwaZulu-Natal, leaving them open to assassination attempts.

Thabiso Zulu and Lesley Stuta are among the whistleblowers in the Sindiso Magaqa murder case.

RELATED: Human Rights Commission to provide whistleblower Thabiso Zulu with legal help

Cele then took the matter under judicial review citing that he wasnt responsible for providing protection to witnesses.

Clement Manyathela speaks to Cele's spokesperson Lirandzu Themba and Department of Justice spokesperson Crispin Phiri and Thabiso Zulu to weigh in on the matter.

The police minister is not happy, however, he does feel vindicated that finally a court has found that it is not the responsibility of the South African Police Service to provide protection for Thabiso Zulu and Lesley Stuta.

Lirandzu Themba, Spokeserson - Police Minister Bheki Cele

The minister is not happy because this matter has dragged on for such a long time and it could have been avoided if Mkhwebane simply looked at the Witness Protection Act, she says.

Phiri says an order was given by the devision of the high court that said Thabiso Zulu was entitled to apply for witness protection in terms of Section 7 of the Witness Protection Act however while that application is pending, he can be afforded temporary witness protection which was done.

The NPA has complied with that order and as we understand it, Mr Zulu has requested to be voluntarily to be removed from witness protection due to some reasons he has given and currently he is no longer under witness protection.

Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Department of Justice

Zulu says after he was shot last year, he approached the Human Rights Commission and letters were written to Saps and those letters were ignored.

We went to court, and we received that court judgment that said I must be placed under temporary protection pending the finalisation of the application. On 24 April , I submitted myself to witness protection.

Thabiso Zulu, Witness

He says however, the witness protection programme head maintains that Zulu is not a witness therefore he cannot be taken in.

Listen below to the full conversation:


4 June 2020 1:27 PM
Tags:
Public Protector
Bheki Cele
whistleblowers
Busisiwe Mhwebane

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