- Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has angered Members of Parliament (MPs) after she failed to attend a justice committee meeting
- The committee was due to discuss a request to institute an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office
- Mkhwebane pulled out of the meeting at the last moment due to what she called a family emergency
The embattled Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has angered Members of Parliament (MPs) after she withdrew herself from a justice committee meeting at the last possible moment. Mkhwebane cited a personal family emergency as the reason for the late withdrawal.
The committee was due to meet with Mkhwebane on Wednesday to discuss the conditions around the appointment of a special adviser to the executive authority. Crucially the committee was also due to discuss a request to hold an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.
MPs from across the political divide were enraged with Mkhwebane’s late withdrawal from the meeting and accused the Public Protector of showing contempt for Parliament.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Mkhwebane sent a letter to committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga at 5 pm on Tuesday afternoon to inform him that she would miss the meeting due to a family emergency.
MPs said it was clear that Mkhwebane never intended to attend the meeting because she failed to delegate the matter to her deputy, Kevin Malunga, and did not submit the normal documentation to request a postponement.
Malunga stated that he was never officially informed of the meeting and was only aware of it by what he had seen in the media.
Motshekga said: “She informed us after 5 pm yesterday. Thanks to the diligence of the secretary, otherwise we would not be aware.”
EWN.co.za reported that DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach was so enraged that she called for the proposed inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office to take place as soon as possible.
“The Public Protector is incompetent and this committee must hold an inquiry,” she said.
Motshekga was more diplomatic and said the committee needed to hear from the Public Protector before making a decision about whether or not to hold the inquiry.
Mkhwebane has come under pressure in recent months after she was accused of failing to investigate the role of certain prominent politicians in the Estina scandal.
She has also received heavy criticism for her ruling in the ABSA-Bankorp matter.
Earlier in 2018, the High Court in Pretoria set aside the remedial action contained in Mkhwebane’s Absa-Bankorp report and ordered her to pay 15% of the Reserve Bank’s costs in her personal capacity.
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