Public Protector expresses displeasure at false media reports
Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane has noted with disappointment false media reports, notably from a leading 24-hour television news channel and its Twitter feed, that she was a “no-show” at the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services early on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 and that she sent a “last minute” submission to the committee on the matter.
The meeting sought to consider her submission in response to a request by DA Chief Whip, Hon. John Steenhuisen, MP for the process of her removal from office to be expedited.
Adv. Mkhwebane wishes to point out that following a Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in which Hon. Steenhuisen made his case on why she should be removed from office, she was requested to respond in writing. A detailed response from her office was then sent to Committee Chairperson, Hon. Mathole Motshekga, MP through the Committee Secretariat on Thursday, July 05, 2018.
On Thursday, August 16, 2018, Adv. Mkhwebane received correspondence from Hon. Motshekga, MP, inviting her to a meeting which was to be held on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. The meeting was going to center on her written response to Hon. Steenhuisen’s request.
Adv. Mkhwebane duly made plans to travel to Cape Town for the meeting. Accordingly, she cancelled plans to travel to Kimberley on 21 and 22 August 2018, where she would have met stakeholders as part of her office’s ongoing roadshow.
Subsequently, on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, the eve of the meeting, the Committee Secretariat informed Adv. Mkhwebane’s office in a text message and an email that she was not required to attend the meeting and that the Committee was going to discuss the content of her submission in her absence and decide on the next step.
Adv. Mkhwebane pleads with media houses that have been peddling false information regarding this matter to verify facts before going public. She further requests the media houses concerned to withdraw their reports and apologise for the damage caused.
Adv. Mkhwebane has further noted that her submission to the Committee has been leaked to the media before Members of Parliament even discussed its content – conduct which she views in a serious light as it seems aimed at prejudicing her further. She will request the Speaker, Hon. Baleka Mbete and Hon. Motshekga to address this with Committee Members.