The chairperson of the inquiry into the fitness of the public protector to hold office, Qubudile Dyantyi, has refused to recuse himself from the proceedings.
Dyantyi said there was no basis for the call by suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane as there was no application that had been placed before the committee for his recusal.
In a letter to Mkhwebane, Dyantyi said that on Friday, at a committee meeting, he had asked that she must move her application for recusal by the afternoon.
Mkhwebane had not filed an application.
He said he would not voluntarily recuse himself until there was an application that would have to be considered.
“I reiterate that unless and until such time as the allegations on which Adv. Mkhwebane seeks to have me recused, is properly placed before the committee in an application for recusal, I am not in position to consider voluntarily recusing myself.” said Dyantyi.
“Accordingly in the absence of a written application I cannot consider a request that I voluntarily recuse myself and point out again that at no stage have you been impeded from bringing such application fully setting out the reasons for such application and evidence to which consideration can be given. The committee operates in the public domain. Evidence placed before the committee becomes publicly available,” said Dyantyi.
Mkhwebane has said that ANC MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Dyantyi and party chief whip Pemmy Majodina had tried to bribe her with R600 000 to make the inquiry go away.
This was allegedly done through Mkhwebane’s husband David Skosana who had met Joemat-Pettersson.
In another letter to Mkhwebane, Dyantyi said the section 194 inquiry would continue its work.
Dyantyi said there was no way they would allow this process to be stalled after months of delays.
He said the inquiry has to be completed before Mkhwebane’s term of office ended in October.
In addition, the committee had to submit a report to Parliament.
“Given all the financial and human resources ploughed, at the expense of taxpayers, into this process (on the side of Parliament and the PPSA) which has ensued for, more than 11 months since the enquiry commenced, the committee must complete its task. I remain obligated to take all necessary steps to ensure that a report be provided to the National Assembly as per the Constitution and Assembly Rules.
“This means that the committee must conclude its work and provide the National Assembly with a report for consideration by latest early August 2023 so that this matter may be finalised prior to the end of your term of office in October 2023. This latter date has always been known.
“You, as the subject of this enquiry, have been suspended for more than one year now and you have the right to have this matter brought to finality. If we fail to do so, it leaves you in the position where this matter will forever hang over you as a cloud,” said Dyantyi.
He said the process must continue now that R4 million had been made available by the office of the Public Protector.
He said there was little left to be done before the committee finished its work.
Mkhwebane had started presenting her case when the inquiry was stopped.
He added that as the committee had agreed at the last meeting on Friday, MPs would put questions to Mkhwebane in writing and they had to do so by June 18.
The evidence leaders would have to submit their questions by June 25.
Mkhwebane would have to indicate whether she wanted to respond orally to the questions sent to her.
If she wished to respond in writing, she could do so by July 6.
He said they would need to ensure that the process was completed by early August, for the committee to table a report in Parliament.