OB committee continues despite Mkhwebane’s absence


Parliament’s art. 194 committee tasked with the process of Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s possible removal as Public Protector (PO), will not grant any further extensions of deadlines and will complete its work by the end of the month.

Qubudile Dyantyi, chairman of the committee, said up to this stage, Mkhwebane had failed to meet any of the deadlines set for her.

Mkhwebane must have submitted written notice to the committee secretariat no later than Friday 7 July to indicate whether she will make a closing statement. “Once again the committee offered the OB an opportunity to explain her version of the allegations before it, but she failed to respond.”

This is not the first deadline that Mkhwebane has missed since the committee was forced to modify its operations due to various challenges and delays in relation to the OB’s legal aid.

Last week, Mkhwebane also ignored the deadline to respond to written questions put to her by members and evidence leaders. She also had to inform the committee by Monday 19 June whether she was going to respond to questions in writing or orally. She was given another opportunity, until June 22, to submit any additional affidavits or documentation.

On 25 June, two sets of questions – one by members of the committee and one by the evidence leaders – were sent to Chaane Prokureurs, Mkhwebane’s commissioning lawyers. This deadline was not met either.

Dyantyi emphasized that the deadlines set by the committee will not be extended further. “We are sticking to our deadline of 28 July for the consideration and acceptance of a draft report. Her continued failure to respond to questions and deadlines means that we can deliver the report much sooner than initially planned.”

Meanwhile, the newly appointed ad hoc committee that must nominate a permanent successor to Mkhwebane will meet today to receive a report on the applications and nominations received for the position of the new OB.

The committee wants to complete its work by 31 August and submit a report to the National Assembly with its final nomination for the new OB.

Mkhwebane’s seven-year term expires on 14 October.