The Office of the Public Protector says it expects to pay an estimated R7 million this financial year for the legal representation of suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in her impeachment hearing.
Mkhwebane is currently facing a Section 194 hearing into her competence to hold office.
Cost of Mkhwebane’s hearing:
The hearing was initially scheduled to be finalised in this financial year but is likely to continue into the new year.
CEO in the Public Protector’s Office Thandi Sibanyoni says, “This is an expense we didn’t really budget for this. However, we are in talks for the current financial year with the DOJ (Department of Justice) to also bail us out and it seems as if they might be able to assist. If this process should extend beyond the current financial year, we might need extra funding for that because it’s an expense we didn’t expect and didn’t budget for.”
Mahlangu was responding to United Democratic Movement (UDM) Leader Bantu Holomisa who posed the question on the current Public Protector’s competence during the question session between committee members and Mahlangu.
Mahlangu , who described Mkhwebane as a hard worker, responded to Holomisa by saying, “I will say straight it’s no. Me in my administrative duties I would lead investigations, I got guidance, I learnt a lot from PP. She is a very hard worker. I don’t even know that she sleeps. Work-work-work. I think she is a hard worker.”
He also pointed out that under her leadership the Office managed clean audits and said that should indicate her competence.
Former CEO in the PP’s Office testifies: