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Exclusive: Nkandla Report Investigator Resigns From The Public Protector's Office Under Busisiwe Mkhwebane

The news landed just before Busisiwe Mkhwebane was due to deliver a briefing on her first 100 days in office -- which has proven to be tumultuous.

02/02/2017 11:22 SAST | Updated 05/02/2017 21:35 SAST

One of the key investigators into the Nkandla report has handed in her resignation, The Huffington Post South Africa understands, adding to the slew of staff who have left or been forced out under Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Advocate Nkebe Kanyane, who was the public protector's chief investigator in its good governance and integrity unit, has resigned, two sources with intimate knowledge of the public protector's office told HuffPost SA on Thursday.

HuffPost SA has requested comment from Kanyane, and will update this story once we have received it.

Mkhwebane delivered her report on her first 100 days in office on Thursday, which have proven to be somewhat tumultuous.

When questioned about Kanyane's departure she said: "We have good quality and skilled employees, any organization would like to employ them. She voluntarily resigned and she's been offered a better offer somewhere else."

The Nkandla report, Secure in Comfort, was produced in March 2014 under Mkhwebane's popular predecessor Thuli Madonsela. The report exposed how R246 million in public money had been used in security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's private residence in Nkandla. It led to an increasingly acrimonious relationship with Zuma's administration. Before Madonsela left office, she released another report on state looting. Mkhwebane critics have feared that she is closely tied to Zuma's interests and her first 100 days in office have raised concerns about her independence.

HuffPost SA has revealed in a series of stories how senior staff associated with Madonsela were being forced out of the office, sometimes wth the office flouting labour regulations to do so.

In late December Mkhwebane, who took office in October 2016, sent Madonsela's chief of staff, Bonginkosi Dhlamini, packing. He was marched out of the building over claims he was a threat to her security. Dhlamini said the new public protector sent her bouncers to usher him out. Dhlamini was sidelined from his senior position when Mkhwebane took over and was temporarily moved to the office of the CEO as the senior manager: strategy support. His employment was then terminated in December and Mkhwebane offered to settle the remainder of the months on his contract.

She fired a former special adviser, Janine Hicks, who in turn took her to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Mkhwebane lost the case and was ordered to pay Hicks for the duration of her contract for unfairly dismissing her. Hicks worked on contract in the private office of then public protector Thuli Madonsela until Mkhwebane took over.

Mkhwebane also cancelled a staffer's trip leaving her stranded, in Durban after ordering the cancellation of her accommodation and return flight. Former journalist Belinda Moses, a member of the public protector's office's communications team, had accommodation booked for a week so she could work at the Aoma general assembly in Durban, but it is understood that Mkhwebane was not happy with her presence.

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