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HomeNewsSection 194 Inquiry: Mpofu to challenge committee on Ramaphosa subpoena issue

Section 194 Inquiry: Mpofu to challenge committee on Ramaphosa subpoena issue

Cape Town - Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s lawyer, advocate Dali Mpofu SC, has said he would challenge the decision by Parliament’s Committee for Section 194 Inquiry to reject his request to summon President Cyril Ramaphosa to testify.

Mpofu said: “Just rest assured that we do not accept the decision and it will be challenged. We will take whatever steps might be necessary to secure the presence of this necessary witness.”

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On Tuesday the committee declined the request after receiving a legal opinion from parliamentary legal adviser Fatima Ebrahim.

Ebrahim said while there was no legal reason stopping the committee from summoning the president, or anyone else, it should do so only where the person summoned was able to provide the committee with information necessary for it to determine the veracity of the charges.

“In the event that the committee is of the view that the president’s presence before this committee is necessary, we advise that in the spirit of co-operative governance the committee itself first invites the president before proceeding with the issuing of a summons,” Ebrahim said.

Committee chairperson Qubudile Dyantyi told Mpofu the legal opinion from Ebrahim had enabled the committee to make its decision but that it had not been the decision itself.

On the issue of Mpofu’s request to recall two witnesses, former Sars executive Johann van Loggerenberg and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, the committee decided that questions could be submitted to the two in writing.

Meanwhile, the committee began hearing the testimony of the Public Protector South Africa’s (PPSA) acting corporate services head Gumbi Tyelela, who was led in his deposition by evidence leader advocate Nazreen Bawa SC.

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