In a significant update regarding the Section 194 Enquiry into Public Protector (PP) Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, the Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Qubudile Dyantyi, reaffirmed the committee’s commitment to its revised way forward. This announcement comes after the Public Protector’s office confirmed that funds have been secured, allowing her access to an instructing attorney to brief her counsel.
The committee has proceeded as planned, providing written questions to Adv Mkhwebane in line with the previously communicated timetable of steps. Mr Dyantyi stated that while all members were invited to submit questions, not all of them availed themselves of the opportunity. The deadline for members to submit their questions was June 21, 2023, and the evidence leaders were also required to provide their questions by the specified deadline, which they met.
During this phase of the enquiry, the committee received questions from 12 Members representing five political parties within the committee. These questions encompassed both Part A and Part B of Adv Mkhwebane’s statement to the committee regarding the charges in the motion. These questions, along with those from evidence leaders, were sent to Adv Mkhwebane’s legal team, Chaane Attorneys, on the previous night.
Mr Dyantyi emphasized that the secretariat and evidence leaders stand ready to assist Adv Mkhwebane and her legal team in locating any necessary records to facilitate her responses. He further reiterated that there has been no denial of access to legal assistance throughout the process. Consequently, there are no impediments preventing Adv Mkhwebane from answering the written questions.
The Section 194 Enquiry is a crucial mechanism to ensure accountability and maintain the integrity of the office of the Public Protector. The committee’s commitment to upholding due process and providing the necessary support to Adv Mkhwebane demonstrates the importance placed on a fair and thorough evaluation of her fitness to hold office.
People with their keen interest in technology and shopping, may wonder about the implications of this process on financial services, credit, lending, personal finance, motor vehicles, insurances, and banking. While the immediate focus lies on the enquiry itself, the outcome and subsequent decisions may have indirect effects on these sectors, considering the potential impact on the governance and oversight landscape in South Africa.