Parliamentary inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office adjourned until next week

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The Parliamentary inquiry into suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office has adjourned and is expected to resume next Wednesday or Thursday.

This as Mkhwebane is preparing for her court bid to challenge her suspension which is expected to be heard in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town next week.

The committee is, however, expected to reflect on the amended programme during its meeting on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday night, towards the end of the seventh day of the hearing, Mkhwebane’s legal representative Advocate Dali Mpofu reflected on the possibility that the two-day court hearing may be extended to a third day before the resumption of the inquiry.

“I just wanted to flag from the letter that we have raised an issue there about the possibility of the case next week running over to a day. We have written to the courts in respect of that and that [those] issues will probably be resolved run about Thursday as to whether it’s going to be two days or three days.”

“We will find a way to keep in touch with you Chair on that. But I think in fairness, we just want to raise it that if the court’s hearing spills over … it might mean that we resume on the 28th. It’s in the letter, I’m just flagging it up because I know people’s diaries are quite difficult to manage and we are dealing with too many people. So I think we should raise these things as early as possible,” added Mpofu.

Parliamentary process versus a court process

Meanwhile, as members of the Section 194 Committee continued to ask questions and points of clarity, ANC MP Tesilwa Mgweba questioned Tebogo Kekana, about the leaking of the provisional CIEX report on the Reserve Bank.

This was the question and answer interaction between Mgweba with Kekana…

Mgweba: “Mr Kekana on the CIEX investigation on paragraph 15, you have indicated the Public Protector’s provisional report leaked. Since you have started employment with the office of the Public Protector in 2011, was it the common practice for some provisional reports to be leaked or was it the only report leaked?”

Kekana: “I think if I remember, I think for me this was the first time that I hear that the provisional report was leaked. I’m not so sure if there was any other report that was leaked. My memory is not serving me right on that one chair, but I think it’s one of the incidences I experienced that the report was leaked.”

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

Mpofu questions the reliability of the first witness

Earlier, advocate Mpofu sought to show that Kekana is unreliable.

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.

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.-Additional reporting by Joseph Mosia

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