Parliament, Friday, 29 July 2022 – The Committee for Section 194 Enquiry into the Public Protector (PP) Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office today reiterated that it is operating in a fair manner and not biased towards any of the parties involved.

Committee Chairperson Mr Qubudile Dyantyi said the committee has a responsibility to exercise fairness and to conduct its work in a balanced manner throughout the enquiry. “I believe we have done so completely. It is important that evidence leaders, legal representatives for the PP and committee members prioritise questions,” he said.

Mr Dyantyi’s comments follow allegations by certain members of the committee which were later supported by Adv Dali Mpofu who represents the PP. Ad Mpofu said that the PP is being unfairly treated citing the fact that cross-examination was not allowed today as Adv Mpofu cross-examnined Mr Sphelo Samuel the whole day yesterday.

“I made it clear at the start of the witness that the evidence leaders will be given an amount of time. Legal representatives for the PP took the full day yesterday for cross-examination. I also made it clear several times yesterday that today will be set aside for engagement by members with the witness as well as recalling the first witness,” emphasised Mr Dyantyi.

He added: “This is not an elastic process and it must be done within a reasonable amount of time. The directives adopted by the committee speak clearly to the leadership role the Chair should provide in terms of time allocated.” He said the committee has noted the allegations made. Furthermore, several members of the committee from different political parties agreed that the committee has maintained fairness in the process up to now.

Members of the committee engaged Mr Samuel and sought questions of clarity. Questions mainly revolved around issues mentioned in his affidavit, evidence in chief and cross-examination like the Vrede Dairy investigation, increasing legal costs in the Office of the PP, his suspension from duty, his working relationship with Adv Mkhwebane and his opinion about Adv Mkhwebane’s competency to hold Office.

Mr Hassen Ebrahim, a witness experienced in Constitutional drafting and other matters who was called to outline the role of the Office of the Public Protector last week, was cross-examined by Adv Mpofu today. Mr Ebrahim confirms that he knows that the PP account only to the NA. Adv Mpofu added that the President was however given the power to suspend the PP based on the work of the committee. He indicated that if the NA relies on court judgments, it is actually the Judiciary impeaching Adv Mkhwebane, to which Mr Ebrahim disagreed.

Mr Ebrahim said section 194 of the Constitution does not give the committee the power to remove Adv Mkhwebane. However, he said it was up to the committee to establish whether there are grounds for the PP’s removal. If there are such grounds, the NA will vote on whether the PP should be impeached. If two-thirds of the Members of the NA vote in favour of impeachment, the President can then fire Adv Mkhwebane.

Mr Dyantyi said the committee will continue with its hearings next week. The enquiry is hybrid and can be followed live on Parliament’s media platforms. Committee documents can be found on its page on Committee for Section 194 Enquiry - Parliament of South Africa


For media enquiries or interviews, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Rajaa Azzakani (Ms)
Tel: 021 403 8437
Cell: 081 703 9542