Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Parliament - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Wednesday failed to pitch for a briefing to Parliament's justice portfolio committee due to a family emergency, but MPs were not happy with an eleventh-hour notification or the fact that she did not send her deputy to account to them.

Mkhwebane was meant to answer questions about allegations she made appointments to her office outside the dictates of the Public Finance Management Act.

Democratic Alliance MP Werner Horn said the fact that she sent a letter to the committee late on Tuesday instead of calling the committee was an indication she held Parliament in contempt.

"I don't think it would be an embellishment to say this public protector has gone rogue," Horn said.

Mkhwebane proposed other dates later in June or early July to appear before MPs, but the legislators want her before the committee next week.

"We need to agree that the public protector's office appear before this committee next week and a thorough explanation given why the public protector didn't make the necessary arrangements for today's meeting," said African National Congress MP Madipoane Mothapo.

Committee chairman Mathole Motshekga said Mkhwebane would be asked to attend a meeting next week to explain her actions.

"It's a rule of natural justice that you hear the other side before you judge. We cannot say it's contempt of this committee or neglect... we need a full explanation so we would write to the public protector to find out why she has not appeared before this committee," said Motshekga.

Motshekga said Mkhwebane would be called to explain her action during a meeting next Wednesday.

African News Agency/ANA