Senior Manager for Legal Services in the office of the Public Protector, Advocate Neels van der Merwe, says he does not understand why providing Parliament’s Section 194 Committee with the information that it requests should be considered problematic.
This follows the publication of names and fees of lawyers who provided services to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
During cross-examination, Advocate Dali Mpofu asked Van der Merwe what purpose the publication of names served.
Earlier, Advocates Muzi Sikhakhane and Vuyani Ngalwana addressed the committee on their unhappiness about the publication of their names.
Van der Merwe who appeared before the inquiry into suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office denied being part of alleged attempts to portray certain advocates as corrupt.
“Because you link it every time to how it originated. I am not a conduit. Any verification of this process is very difficult. ”
Two of the senior counsels, Muzi Sikhakhane and Vuyani Ngalwana, appeared before the parliamentary committee.
Speaking on behalf of the group, which includes Mkhwebane’s legal representative at the hearings, Sikhakhane accused Bawa of creating an impression that their payment amounted to looting public funds.
“She throws the selected black advocates in order to advance the old racist stereotype that black is corrupt which we reject; whether she intended it or not is irrelevant. She did this with the full knowledge that she had outside in the media space fertile ground in the Daily Maverick. That now characterises our fees not as having been earned for legal services rendered, but as monies having been funneled … which is not true.”
VIDEO: Section 194 Inquiry into suspended Public Protector’s fitness to hold office: