Mkhwebane’s fate as good as sealed amid ongoing stand-off

Parliament’s Section 194 committee probing suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office will once again run through the motions to consider her mitigating reasons to adverse findings. 

The proceedings on Tuesday will take the stand-off between the committee and Mkhwebane, who has tacitly boycotted the proceedings on the grounds of procedural unfairness, one step closer to litigation in court. 

The committee, led by corruption-accused ANC MP Qubudile Dyantyi, indicated that it is determined to conclude its work with or without Mkhwebane’s cooperation.

It accuses her of delaying tactics to stall the proceedings. However, Mkhwebane is equally unmoved that Dyantyi should recuse himself as chairperson of the committee.

This after allegations that Dyantyi was part of a scheme to solicit a bribe of R200 000 from Mkhwebane’s husband, David Skosana, in exchange for her survival. 

Skosana has since opened a criminal case against Dyantyi and ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina. They are both implicated in the scandal by the late ANC MP and committee member Tina Joemat-Pettersson. 

Dyantyi and Majodina have dismissed the allegations, with Dyantyi insisting that he was fair towards Mkhwebane. 

Joemat-Pettersson died mysteriously after damning evidence of the scheme, contained in audio recordings and social media messages, was revealed in public. 

While the outcome of this enquiry remains uncertain, the consideration process appears more ceremonial than substantive.

The committee has recommended her removal.

Its recommendation is based on findings from an independent panel that deemed Mkhwebane guilty on four counts of misconduct and incompetence.

The charges revolve around her handling of various high-profile cases including investigations into the Reserve Bank, the Vrede Dairy scandal, the SA Revenue Service, and the CR17 matter.

According to parliament spokesperson Rajaa Azzakani, the committee is poised to meticulously consider Mkhwebane’s submission before finalising its comprehensive report.

The report will likely play a pivotal role in determining Mkhwebane’s future despite her tenure ending in October.

“The committee for Section 194 Enquiry into Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office will meet to consider submissions from Mkhwebane regarding its draft report,” said Azzakani.

“The committee is expected to adopt its final report afterwards.”

Meanwhile, the ad hoc committee responsible for nominating a candidate for appointment as the next public protector is in full swing.

The committee is expected to convene to discuss the suitability screening outcomes for all shortlisted candidates.

It will then hold private discussions regarding the interviews with the candidates, scheduled to begin in the coming week.

Currently, advocate Kholeka Gcaleka has assumed the role of acting public protector, temporarily filling Mkhwebane’s position.


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