Busisiwe Mkhwebane cries persecution after son’s assets allegedly seized by sheriff

Busisiwe Mkhwebane cries persecution after son’s assets allegedly seized by sheriff

Former Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has accused law enforcement agencies of persecuting her family in retaliation for her investigations into the “untouchables”.

Mkhwebane has shared videos on social media showing assets allegedly belonging to her son being attached by the sheriff’s office.

Mkhwebane flagged by HSBC

The former Public Protector was flagged by international bank HSBC for a payment of over 5 000 US dollars, allegedly made to her First National Bank (FNB) account in June 2014.

The matter was brought to the limelight by a 2019 report by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which alleged that the money was sent from an account at HSBC’s subsidiary in Hong Kong.

While OCCRP claimed there was no indication of wrongdoing by Mkhwebane, the alleged payment was among thousands of flagged transactions as part of HSBC’s investigation into the Guptas’ involvement with China South Rail in a $1.5 billion contract to sell locomotives to Transnet.

It was previously reported that FNB possibly initiated an investigation into whether Mkhwebane may have violated exchange control regulations for moving money between countries.

Mkhwebane worked at South Africa’s embassy in China between 2010 and 2014, before she was appointed Public Protector.

Son’s assets taken

The former Public Protector has now argued that her children are being subjected to “abuse”.

“Persecution by state-owned institutions for investigating the untouchables. I am still being punished and my children are subjected to this abuse because of false reports that I received money from the Guptas.

“I am still investigated by Sars [South African Revenue Service] after being flagged as receiving foreign money whilst it was cost of living allowance from Dirco [Department of International Relations and Cooperation].

“All diplomats send money home and are not subjected to this,” she said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The publication reached out to Sars for comment on the alleged raid. Any update will be included once received.

In an interview with SABC News, Mkhwebane explained that she was paid through HSBC during her time in China.

The former Public Protector said the OCCRP report sparked an investigation into all her bank accounts by law enforcement agencies, with Sars conducting an audit into her tax affairs.

“That started around 2019 and 2020 after all these allegations. They picked up the bank accounts of my son throughout that process and investigated him.”

She claimed the ongoing “persecution” was due to the investigations by the Public Protector’s office into the “untouchables”, a term she previously used to refer to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan.

“I have submitted all the proof, but I’m still facing challenges because I don’t know how else to explain myself. As far as my son is concerned they went further to attach his properties.

“We had to get lawyers and tax practitioners when he is not even within the bracket of being able to pay for these services. This is just continuous persecution.”

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