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Inquiry into fitness of Public Protector moved to Friday

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: ANA Archives

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: ANA Archives

Published Jun 7, 2023


Cape Town - The Section 194 inquiry into the fitness of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to hold office was expected to resume on Friday.

This was the ruling made by inquiry chairperson Qubudile Dyantyi, after a long discussion by the members.

Calls were also made on Wednesday for Dyantyi to recuse himself amid allegations implicating him, ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina and late Tina Joemat-Pettersson, for soliciting a bribe from Mkhwebane’s husband to make the inquiry “go away”.

At the start of the meeting, Dyantyi informed the committee that Mkhwebane had written a letter indicating her intention to apply for a recusal application of the chairperson and objecting to the way the inquiry would proceed.

Dyantyi said if anyone wished to make a recusal application, that it would have to be submitted in writing on Friday.

He said there would be no oral presentation of the recusal application.

EFF MP Omphile Maotwe said the allegation made against Dyantyi, Majodina and Pettersson threatened to undermine Parliament and the work of the Section 194 inquiry.

Maotwe noted that there was a case lodged with SAPS.

EFF leader Julius Malema said the committee could not continue as if nothing was happening.

“You know there is an allegation of bribery made by your member that you solicited a bribe.

“It does not help anyone to be sitting here with a chair facing such serious allegations,” Malema said, before asking Dyantyi to recuse himself from chairing the inquiry.

“This is for the sake of integrity of the process and committee and for the Public Protector to see justice being done,” he added.

DA MP Kevin Mileham said the EFF had adopted a wrong approach on the matter.

“There has been no correspondence tabled to this committee … The allegation should be made as part of substantive motion,” Mileham said.

ANC MP Manketsi Tlhape said there was nothing before the committee to suggest a change in how they have been structured.

GOOD Party MP Brett Herron said: “I don’t call on you to recuse yourself. That is a decision you have to make.”

ATM leader Vuyo Zungula said the issue of recusal by Dyantyi should be about his conscience because the allegation was not just rumours as there was evidence to back it up.

“We can’t dictate to your conscience. A lot of people may not have the moral standing to take such a decision,” he said.

ACDP MP Marie Sukers asked Dyantyi not to recuse himself, saying the process was fair to Mkhwebane.

IFP’s Zandile Majozi said the committee should not be derailed and should deal with what was before them.

Freedom Front Plus chief whip Corne Mulder said they had agreed on the programme of the inquiry and that Dyantyi should not recuse himself.

When Mkhwebane addressed the committee, she said she had asked Dyantyi in her letter to voluntarily recuse himself and planned to ask her attorney to move the recusal application.

She said the services of her attorney were abruptly terminated without her being told and indicated that she would not meet the deadline set by Dyantyi to submit the application on Friday.

Cape Times