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Mkhwebane misses deadline to respond to inquiry committee’s written questions

Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 7, 2023


Cape Town - Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has missed the deadline to respond to written questions posed by the members and evidence leaders of Parliament’s Section 194 Enquiry into her fitness to hold office.

On June 25 the enquiry committee sent Mkhwebane’s lawyers, Chaane Attorneys, two sets of questions, one from committee members and the other from the committee’s evidence leaders.

This afternoon, committee chairperson Qubudile Dyantyi said: “The due date for responding to these questions was yesterday, Friday, July 6.

“It is unfortunate that advocate Mkhwebane has decided to disregard this important process by not responding to the questions.”

He said she had shown her disrespect to the committee process.

This is not the first deadline Mkhwebane has missed since Dyantyi issued amended directives governing the committee’s work in a bid to beat its July 28 deadline, three weeks from today, to table its report before Parliament.

Dyantyi said Mkhwebane was due to notify the committee by June 19 whether she would be responding to questions in writing or orally.

Mkhwebane was given another opportunity, until June 22, to submit any additional affidavits or documentation in support of Part B of her statement or in relation to the evidence leaders’ presentation to the committee on Part A of her statement to the extent that there is a part that was not addressed in her oral evidence or written statement.

She failed to meet either deadline.

Dyantyi said that Mkhwebane and her attorneys have indicated that they will not be bound by what they termed “illegal deadlines set by the committee”.

According to Dyantyi, Mkhwebane and her lawyers had said that counsel had not been briefed to deal with the merits of the matter as Chaane Attorneys is still in the process of familiarising themselves with the record and had spent R500 000 or more of the R4 million provided by the Office of the Public Protector (PPSA) for this purpose.

Dyantyi said: “This appears to be deliberately geared to create an inevitable and untenable situation where the committee and the National Assembly will not be able to fulfil its constitutional obligations, despite the time and resources ploughed into this matter.”

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Cape Argus