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Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane seeks to interdict Hawks' probe against him

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Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane seeks to interdict Hawks' probe against him

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane

14th October 2021

By: News24Wire

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Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has approached the High Court in Bhisho to interdict the Hawks' investigation against him, calling the probe "unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid".

In court papers, Mabuyane has asked for an order to set aside the decision to launch an investigation into "unspecified allegations" against him, claiming the Hawks are being used by his rivals in the African National Congress (ANC) to conduct a political witch-hunt against him.

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The documents state, "It constitutes a political witch-hunt driven by certain elements of the DPCI (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Hawks) who are located in the DPCI offices in the Free State. There is no reason why the investigation should be driven from the Free State rather than the Eastern Cape, where the alleged offences are said to have emanated from."

The court papers stated that it was clear that the Free State office of the DPCI had no jurisdiction over the matter.

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Mabuyane has been in hot water after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Friday released her report into the misuse of funds intended for the memorial service of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The report into "allegations of corruption, maladministration or misuse of public funds by senior and executive Eastern Cape government officials and the Mbizana Local Municipality" found that Mabuyane allegedly pocketed R450 000 of the money set aside for the memorial service in Mbizana in 2018.

In his founding affidavit, Mabuyane said a confidential source had informed him that political elements in the ANC opposed to his leadership were behind the investigation and had tried to influence the DPCI.

The premier also wants the court to compel the DPCI to provide him with all the information they have against him.

"The DPCI appears to take the attitude that since I am not an 'accused' person, I am not entitled to such information. This is the wrong attitude. I have already been characterised by the DPCI as a suspect. Bearing in mind that I am a suspect, presumably suspected of having committed crimes, I am entitled to know the basis on which it is suggested that I am suspect," the court papers stated.

Mabuyane claimed that without this information it was impossible for him to respond to the allegations against him.

Mabuyane said in his affidavit, "It is submitted that an appropriate order is to set aside the refusal of the DPCI to refurnish me with information which is reasonably required to enable me to respond to the allegations against me."

Mabuyane said he had made enemies within the ANC because he had been vocal about former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule stepping down.

While highlighting that the allegations against him were based on events that took place in 2017, the premier said the DPCI should have provided a compelling explanation for why it did not investigate the matter in 2019, when the allegations were made public.

In his affidavit, he questioned why the unit suddenly took an interest in the matter "after Mr Magashule made it a political campaign issue".

"Should I be charged, I would be required to step aside. The DPCI is aware of this. Therefore, its decision to persist with a completely baseless case against me, knowing that a judge would require me to step aside, is a flagrant abuse of power and engineered to secure a political outcome," he said.

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