Parliament, Friday, 2 June 2023 – The Committee for Section 194 Enquiry into Public Protector (PP) Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office today resolved to resume hearings on Monday and to push full-steam ahead in order to conclude within the timeframe of its latest adopted draft programme, 28 July 2023.

Committee Chairperson Mr Qubudile Dyantyi noted the concern of committee, especially regarding the escalating costs, including “rates being raised” in respect of counsel fees for the PP. In summarising the discussions of the day, he said “everything needs to be done within reasonable means”.

The committee was briefed today by its legal advisor, Ms Fatima Ebrahim, on correspondence and progress made since its last meeting. During the briefing, it became apparent that the rates for all three advocates preferred by Adv Mkhwebane have now increased by R12 000 per day.

The committee heard that on 23 May, the State Attorney confirmed that Adv Mkhwebane’s attorneys have been appointed. The appointment was based on briefing Adv Dali Mpofu at R45 000 a day. Adv Mpofu then indicated that he would only accept the brief if the two junior advocates who have been part of the team since hearings begun were also briefed. After consultation between the office of the Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) and the Solicitor-General, agreement was reached to also brief the two juniors. On 29 May, Ms Ebrahim was informed by the PPSA that counsel had since provided a new fee structure. This would amount to an additional collective amount of R12 000 per day.

Addressing several recent media reports on the committee’s work and some members, Mr Dyantyi said there will be no interim report. If there is going to be a draft report, it will be something all members will be aware of. “We have never worked in a smoke-filled room where a report is created somewhere.”

Mr Dyantyi said he will communicate with the Chair-of-chairs, Mr Cedric Frolick, and the Speaker with an update and the revised programme, because there cannot be an interim report. He says the Speaker is within her rights to enquire about the committee’s progress.

He reiterated the position of members that they must avoid any other issues that could be “sideshows” to the process and remain focused on the business and mandate of the committee. Mr Dyantyi says regarding the allegations “flying around”, anyone who has a grievance about this process can raise it in the correct platform. He cautioned that this must not affect the work of this committee.

The committee was established on 16 March 2021 to conduct a constitutional inquiry into the PP’s fitness to hold office. Committee documents can be found at Committee for Section 194 Enquiry - Parliament of South Africa


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