Cape Town - MPs serving on the Section 194 Inquiry into the fitness of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to hold office have been recused from the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests that will handle her bribery complaint.
This comes after the ethics and members’ interest joint committee met on Monday to receive a briefing from the acting registrar advocate Anthea Gordon, on the complaints lodged by Mkhwebane.
Mkhwebane lodged a complaint against the late MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the inquiry chairperson Qubudile Dyantyi, ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina and National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Mkhwebane’s husband David Skosana has alleged that Joemat-Pettersson asked for a bribe to make the Section 194 Inquiry investigating to “go away”.
Apart from Skosana laying a charge of extortion at the police station, Mkhwebane lodged a complaint with Parliament which was processed by the ethics committee.
Joint chairpersons of ethics and member’s interest Bekizwe Nkosi and Lydia Moshodi said the committee noted that four of its members served on the committee for Section 194 Inquiry.
“The four members, Mr Bekizwe Nkosi, Mr Julius Malema, Ms Violet Siwela and Ms Mimmy Gondwe have been recused from the committee for the purpose of the complaints by the public protector.
“This is to ensure that the process before the committee is fair, ethical and conducted with integrity,” Nkosi and Moshodi said.
They also said the committee would process the complaints in line with the provisions of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosures of Members’ Interests and would at its next meeting engage on the substance of the complaints.
“The committee observes principles of natural justice which must be adhered to. The committee will not engage media requests on the complaints,” Nkosi and Moshodi said.
The joint committee’s decision comes after the inquiry decided to amend its directives in order to allow committee members and evidence leaders to present written questions to Mkhwebane to answer orally or in writing.
Mkhwebane has rejected the appointment of State attorneys as her attorney of record, citing conflict of interest.
The services of her newly-appointed attorneys were terminated by the solicitor-general after the firm’s director Hope Chaane was admitted to hospital last week.
Seanego Attorneys, which represented Mkhwebane since the start of the inquiry, withdrew from the inquiry citing professional reasons.