Vussy Mahlangu denies harassing staff at Public Protector's Office

Former CEO of the Public Protector's Office, Vussy Mahlangu, has denied an alleged witch-hunt against a previous witness.

File. Vussy Mahlangu's testimony continues before Parliament's impeachment inquiry. Picture: Twitter/ @JustSecuCluster

CAPE TOWN - Former CEO of the Public Protector's Office, Vussy Mahlangu, has denied that he intimidated, harassed or victimised staff.

He's the third witness, linked to that office, to testify before Parliament's impeachment inquiry. The inquiry is considering Busisiwe Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office.

Mahlangu has denied an alleged witch-hunt against a previous witness after he lodged a complaint about Mkhwebane with the National Assembly Speaker.

Vussy Mahlangu's appointment to the Public Protector's office in 2018 caused a furore, after he was dismissed from the Department of Rural Development on five charges related to a land deal. It impacted his ability to secure security clearance required for the job.

Mahlangu has testified he had no choice but to institute disciplinary proceedings against Sphelo Samuel, who is the Free State head of Public Protector's Office. That's after the office was being sued in relation to Samuel's assault conviction. " I had to take a decision to say if we lose the case of R350 000 how am going to justify the payment of that litigation? The best thing was to subject Mr Samuel to a disciplinary process," said Mahlangu.

Mahlangu has also explained that a disciplinary process against another employee, was instituted for allegedly leaking confidential documents that came from the Presidency. "To me a disciplinary process is not to say you are guilty, but is for us to satisfy ourselves that you have done something wrong or not, if it turns out you are innocent then you come back to work, and that was the case with Mr Neshunzhi," said Mahlangu.

Mahlangu's testimony continues.