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MPs angered after Mkhwebane no-show at meeting

MPs have accused Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane of showing contempt for the committee and the national legislature. They say she never intended appearing.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has failed to appear at a meeting of Parliament’s justice committee, raising the ire of MPs.

The committee was scheduled to receive a briefing by Mkhwebane on Wednesday morning, and to also discuss a request to institute an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

But Mkhwebane sent the committee a letter at the eleventh hour, asking for a postponement due to a family emergency.

MPs have accused Mkhwebane of showing contempt for the committee and the national legislature. They say she never intended appearing.

The committee has been toying with the idea of instituting an inquiry into Mkhwebane for some time, but MPs are now even more convinced that it’s needed.

This followed criticism that she failed to investigate the Gupta family’s involvement in the Estina dairy project, a matter her office dealt with last year.

Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga said: “She informed us after 5pm yesterday. Thanks to the diligence of the secretary, otherwise we would not be aware.”

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach was more scathing: “The Public Protector is incompetent and this committee must hold an inquiry.”

The committee will now ask Mkhwebane to appear by no later than next week before a final decision on the inquiry is taken.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)