Is there a battle raging between the Public Protector and NPA head?

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Busisiwe Mkhwebane is investigating maladministration linked to the Kwa-Zulu Natal North Sea Jazz Festival, but says the NPA is not sharing information that would help her complete her probe.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has accused the National Prosecuting Authority of failing to cooperate with her office and impeding an investigation into a Durban jazz festival that never took place, but that cost taxpayers R28 million.

Mkhwebane is investigating maladministration linked to the Kwa-Zulu Natal North Sea Jazz Festival.

A number of provincial ANC politicians are implicated in fraud, corruption and money-laundering charges that have been brought by the NPA in relation to the scandal.

Mkhwebane has asked Parliament’s justice committee to mediate between herself and NPA boss, Shamila Batohi.

Mkhwebane on Thursday said the NPA was not sharing information that would help her complete her probe into the failed concert in Durban.

She claimed the NPA said she was interfering in the case and was refusing to submit documents due to the sensitivity of the matter, while also challenging her authority to investigate allegations of maladministration.

“We are not making headway in that matter due to what the NPA says.”

Mkhwebane said the language used by the NPA in letters to her didn’t show the “spirit of collegiality” that would be expected from institutions sharing similar goals.

“The letters which we receive from them – the tone of those letters is concerning.

“Yes, we will be bringing this to the attention of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (Batohi), but I would hope that as the committee we both report to you it would help that you can intervene and assist us and in a way mediate between the two of us so that we can find headway and cooperate more fully.”

The justice committee has asked Mkhwebane to submit her complaint in writing so it can consider a way forward.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema could not be reached for comment on Thursday night.

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