Busisiwe Mkhwebane defends parliament no-show

06 June 2018 - 16:35 By Timeslive
Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said on Wednesday that she had every intention of attending a parliamentary committee meeting to discuss‚ among other things‚ her capacity to hold office – until those plans were scuppered by a last-minute family emergency.

Mkhwebane was scheduled to appear in front of the Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee. MPs were irked at her no-show.

But in a statement‚ Mkhwebane said that the invitation to appear before the committee came on Friday‚ June 1.

“Despite the short notice‚ Adv Mkhwebane had planned to attend the committee’s meeting and travel arrangements to that effect ensued‚” her spokesman Oupa Segalwe said.

But those plans were cancelled at the last minute.

“However‚ due to the unforeseen family emergency she was forced to make a late cancellation of her intended attendance and rendered an apology to the committee. This apology was dispatched on Tuesday afternoon. Adv Mkhwebane wishes to indicate that this was the first occasion she missed the attendance of the committee meetings‚” Segalwe said.

She also addressed comments from committee members that she should have sent another official to fill in for her.

“[Mkhwebane] was of the view that the agenda items required her personal attendance. Reluctant to send a delegation of officials without executive authority‚ Adv Mkhwebane opted to humbly request the committee to defer the meeting to a later date. Thursday‚ June 21 2018 and Thursday‚ July 5 2018 were proposed as dates that the Chairperson could consider‚ kindly‚ in selecting a future date for the meeting.

“Adv Mkhwebane hereby assures all concerned about her recognition of and the respect she accords the National Assembly as the authority to which she is accountable in terms of Section 181(5) of the Constitution‚” the statement concluded.