The National Assembly Programme Committee has heard that Parliament’s Section 194 Committee has the power to set its working arrangements and timelines to conclude its work.
The NA Programme Committee met on Thursday during one of its regular meetings to determine the programme of the Assembly for the next weeks.
It remains unclear as to when the inquiry will be concluded and when the committee will report back to the National Assembly.
National Assembly Secretary Masibulele Xaso told Programme Committee members that the Section 194 Committee will advise when it intends to conclude its work.
Xaso says, “Of course, we see the timelines on Section 194 and the committee will obviously advise if it is able to meet those timelines just to say that the House did not give it any specific time frame in terms of date, but the committee has the power to determine its working arrangements and the committee has set these timelines, so it would be for the committee to advise the House as to how it hopes to finalise its business.”
On Monday, Mkhwebane denied reports that her legal team has withdrawn from the parliamentary hearings into her fitness to hold office.
In a presentation at the hearings, Mkhwebane said a wrong impression was created that her legal team had withdrawn and confirmed that Seanego Attorneys and the advocates appointed by them, including Dali Mpofu, continue to be her legal representatives of choice.
Mkhwebane said, however, that the legal team will not be able to attend the committee’s proceedings as they have other work they have scheduled.
Theo Seanego of Seanego Attorneys confirmed that they have indeed not withdrawn their representation.
Mkhwebane says, “The incorrect position that my right to legal representation is “not absolute” was argued and roundly rejected by the Constitutional Court when it unanimously ordered that I must be afforded full legal representation by the practitioners of my choice at this inquiry.”
“In this regard, you are referred to the relevant Judgment of the Constitutional Court. In the event that the Committee unreasonably decides to proceed in the absence of my chosen legal representatives and in spite of the representations made above, kindly furnish me with the necessary reasons so that the decision be included in the series of reviewable decisions of the Committee,” added Mkhwebane.
VIDEO: Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane addresses Section 194 Inquiry: