Mpofu questions reliability of first witness in Mkhwebane case

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Legal representative for Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Advocate Dali Mpofu, has sought to show that a witness at her impeachment hearing is unreliable.

According to Mpofu Parliament’s Section 194 Committee cannot rely on the evidence of Tebogo Kekana, because he only chose to speak out after he was charged for disclosing confidential information.

Kekana has largely stuck to his testimony, including that he found it odd that the Public Protector had met privately with the then State Security Minister and that she had sought to make a constitutional amendment to change the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Kekana is the first witness to be subpoenaed by Parliaments Section 194 Committee.

When asked why he was not willing to appear before the committee probing Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, Kekana explained that he did not want to jeopardise his case at the labour court.

The case emanates from his dismissal from the Public Protector’s office after he shared information sent to him erroneously. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) upheld the disciplinary inquiry ruling but he says he disagrees with its findings.

It is the findings of the disciplinary hearing that Mpofu has sought to use to show that the witness is unreliable and dishonest.

Dismissed investigator for the Public Protector, Tebogo Kekana taken to task:

Mpofu says, “Kekana your disciplinary hearing was chaired by Mr Fourie correct? Yes, that’s correct. I just want to read some of what he said. In my view the employee disregarded and breached the relationship of trust between him and the employer…. than his duties and responsibilities as an employee.”

Mpofu then tried to push Kekana to admit that he had been dismissed for being dishonest however Kekana maintained that this was not the case.

“I am going to argue in the end that anything that you say should be taken with a pinch of salt if it should be taken at all because you are an unreliable and dishonest witness. I think there you were telling the truth. That’s the only motivation you have in life…” says Mpofu.

While Mpofu put it outright to the witness that he thought that he was dishonest and unreliable, he also used side remarks to try and discredit him.

“Would you agree that given the onslaught by powerful economic forces and political against PP it would be improper for it to harbour within its ranks liars, imposter and people who gossip and peddle information that does not belong to the… Yes I am sure those ones are still there…

The hearings will break for the next three days as the suspended Mkhwebane is not available until Friday. The committee will use the time to reflect on how the hearings have progressed so far.

Update on Mkhwebane’s impeachment hearing: