Pretoria – The chairperson in the Section 194 committee inquiry into suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office has refused her request to be excused from proceedings.
On Tuesday, Mkhwebane asked to be excused from the hearings and said she could not participate without the presence of her legal representatives, but committee chairperson Qubudile Dyantyi insisted that she stays.
On Wednesday morning, Mkhwebane objected to being present at the inquiry and accused the committee of holding her hostage.
She said she did not understand why she had to attend to proceedings without a legal representative.
She told the committed that her lawyers were preparing heads of arguments in seven matters that had been consolidated for hearing before the Constitutional Court that are due by Friday.
She indicated that her legal team would only be available from Monday, November 7.
“I asked to be excused as I was no longer participating, you refused as well to let me, so I sat against my will and I felt as if I’m just sitting here as a hostage,” Mkhwebane said to Dyantyi.
However, Dyantyi said his ruling, made on Tuesday, stood and that she would not be excused saying it’s in her best interest for her to stay.
The committee then continued with evidence from PPSA senior legal manager Neels van der Merwe.
His evidence related mainly to the appointment of media communication consultants and strategy, directed at improving Mkhwebane’s public and media image.
The committee will resume next week Wednesday to cross-examine Van der Merwe.