Durban - The office of the Public Protector has confirmed that probes into claims that the president broke the Executive Code of Ethics are "ongoing and on track."
"In light of this, the institution wants to let the public know that the investigation is still going as planned. So far, there have been a total of four complaints. "Two were filed under the Executive Members' Ethics Act, and the rest were filed under the Public Protector Act," said Oupa Segalwe, a spokeswoman for the government.
In a statement released on Friday, the public protector's office said that after he was asked to respond to the allegations in a letter, the president, through his lawyers, asked for an extension of the initial return date of June 22. This request was brought to the attention of Acting Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka for approval, and it was granted.
"It's important to note that requests like the president's are pretty common when it comes to the PPSA's investigation work. In fact, the president asked for something similar when investigating Bosasa, and it was also granted," Segalwe said.
He said that decisions about whether or not to agree to such requests are always based on a careful look at the reasons given by respondents, the need for the Public Protector of South Africa (PPSA) to be fair to respondents, and the amount of information asked of respondents.
Segalwe also said that, according to section 3(2) of the Executive Members' Ethics Act (EMEA), the Public Protector must give a report on the alleged violation of the Code of Ethics within 30 days of receiving the complaint. But section 3(3) says: "If the Public Protector reports at the end of the period mentioned in subsection (2) that the investigation has not yet been completed, the Public Protector must submit another report when the investigation has been completed."
Segalwe said that the PPSA never finishes EMEA investigations in the 30-day time limit because, among other things, these cases are too complicated.
"The institution is working on a number of EMEA investigations at the moment, some of which date back to 2020. In the case of the president, Advocate Gcaleka has written to the Honourable Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Speaker of the National Assembly, in accordance with section 3(3) of the EMEA, to tell her that the final report will be sent once the investigation is finished," he said.
"The PPSA says again that all investigations are and will be done honestly, without fear, favor, or bias, so that everyone is treated the same before the law," Segalwe said in closing.
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