Mkhwebane aims to initiate contempt proceedings against Zille, De Lille

Busisiwe Mkhwebane says the Western Cape premier and Cape Town mayor’s failure to attend an inspection in Masiphumelele is in contempt of her office.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is in Masiphumelele to address complaints regarding the state of the area on Friday 23 June 2017. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says the Western Cape premier and Cape Town mayor’s failure to attend an inspection in Masiphumelele is in contempt of her office.

Mkhwebane visited the area near Fish Hoek on Friday after residents lodged a complaint and went to the Human Rights Commission over poor living conditions.

She says her office had issued a subpoena to Premier Helen Zille and Mayor Patricia de Lille to attend.

Mkhwebane says she will initiate contempt proceedings against Zille and De Lille.

The Public Protector says her office has the right to issue a subpoena under special circumstances for the purposes of an investigation.

“Hence the speedy attendance of this matter is based on the fact that people cannot continue living like this. Let’s find a quick solution, which will then give them an opportunity as the city to then develop a place where they can move the people. And unfortunately, we didn’t get that cooperation.”

The premier's office says Zille was overseas on business when they received the communication and that it was not served directly on the subpoenaed person or their designate, which is required by law.

The mayor's office also says no subpoena was directly served on De Lille.

WATCH: Public Protector visits Masiphumelele after residents lay complaints

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)