The chairperson of the Parliamentary enquiry into suspended Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office believes he has performed to the best of his ability, and maintains that the application for his recusal will not serve the best interest of the committee.
This despite Qubudile Dyantyi being investigated over allegations that he and ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina were part of attempts to solicit bribes from Mkhwebane’s husband, David Skosana.
Skosana alleged he had met several times with the late ANC MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson, and was allegedly asked to pay each of the three about R200 000 to make the enquiry “go away”.
Both Dyantyi and Majodina have denied the allegations.
These claims resulted in Mkhwebane filing a second recusal application against Dyantyi, as the chairperson of the committee.
Mkhwebane’s advocate, Dali Mpofu SC had cited seven grounds for the recusal, based on two recorded meetings between Skosana and Joemat-Pettersson.
Mpofu said, irrespective of the allegations directed at Dyantyi himself, the mere fact that they emanated from Joemat-Pettersson, who was a member of the committee “should be sufficient cause for concern and aggravation for the Committee”.
But in a statement on Monday, Dyantyi said he was not going anywhere and was preparing for a draft report, which could seal Mkhwebane’s fate, on Friday.
“I will not allow myself to be distracted from the important work that I and my fellow members of the committee have undertaken to do. I have performed to the best of my ability, and I go forward confident that recusal will not serve the best interest of the committee, Parliament or the public interest at this critical juncture,” he said.
Dyantyi denied that he bribed, sought to bribe or otherwise solicit a bribe through Joemat-Pettersson or any third party from Mkhwebane or any other person.
He also said he had not acted in any manner that was unfair to Mkhwebane.
Dyantyi said evidence rendered did not support the contention that there was any prima facie proof of the allegations in respect of himself, but rather raised further questions which he had dealt with in detail.
He refuted the allegations that the committee had already reached a predetermined conclusion in the assessment of the charges against Mkhwebane.
“I have actively engaged with the evidence and will continue to apply my mind in a fair, unbiased and rational manner when concluding on findings and making recommendations to the National Assembly. All in all, I have no doubt that I have been fair, reasonable, firm and balanced in seeking to ensure that the committee discharges its fundamental constitutional function. There is therefore no substantive merit in the recusal application.”
He said he disagreed that the committee could or should focus in any way on Joemat-Pettersson’s passing, as opposed to the motion dealing with the question of whether Mkhwebane was incompetent or had misconducted herself, as alleged.
“The committee is not seized with an enquiry into Ms Joemat-Pettersson’s passing. Nor is it appropriate for members of Parliament to speculate in respect thereof, especially whilst the matter is receiving attention from appropriate state authorities. In addition, it is deeply disrespectful to her family. To this extent the PP has misdirected herself in understanding the powers and functions of the committee.”
Dyantyi also questioned, amongst other things, the delay in Skosana bringing the matter to the attention of the SAPS and Mkhwebane, and in turn her delay in the lodging of the application and the “piecemeal approach in which alleged evidence is being released.”
During her address to the National Press Club in Pretoria recently, Mkhwebane said she would be guided by Dyantyi’s decision on whether she took the case to court