Public Protector's Office ordered to finalise report
Publish date: 28 November 2019
Issue Number: 688
Diary: Legalbrief Forensic
The Office of the Public Protector has been hit with a court order to finalise a report on tender irregularities at SAA after a complaint was lodged by biscuit factory owner Simon Mantell in 2014 when the office was still under Thuli Madonsela. The case was briefly heard at the Western Cape High Court yesterday, notes a Daily Maverick report. Acting Judge Hayley Slingers ordered that the Public Protector’s Office finalise the report by 31 January 2020. A cost order was also issued in Mantell’s favour. The office missed two previous deadlines to finalise the investigation. In the responding affidavit, ‘limited resources’ and ‘heavy backlogs’ were cited as a few of the causes for the delay. The affidavit also stated that the Public Protector Act does not indicate time-frames for investigations. Mantell says he supplied the office with sufficient evidence to conduct the investigation. Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was not present at the hearing but was represented by Advocate Shafia Mohamed. Mantell was present with his legal advisers, attorney Timothy Maughan and Advocate Guy Elliot. The case has a complicated history but it boils down to a tender dispute between Mantell’s company Mantelli’s and Air Chefs, a division of SAA, outlined in detail in the report online.