PP Inquiry day 77: Inquiry resumption; Allegations against Chairperson

Committee on Section 194 Enquiry

07 June 2023
Chairperson: Mr Q Dyantyi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


Motion initiating the Enquiry together with supporting evidence

Public Protector’s response to the Motion

Report from the Independent Panel furnished to the NA

The Section 194 Committee Inquiry into the fitness of suspended Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was forced to postpone its proceedings once more until 9 June, after Adv Mkhwebane arrived without legal representation.

The Committee Chairperson informed Members that he received a doctor’s note stating that Adv Mkhwebane’s attorney, Mr Hope Chaane, had been hospitalised since 5 June and would thus be unable to represent the suspended PP until further notice. Due to Mr Chaane’s hospitalisation, the Solicitor-General terminated Chaane Attorney’s mandate to represent Adv Mkhwebane and subsequently appointed the State Attorney to act on her behalf.

In a letter sent to the Chairperson, Adv Mkhwebane expressed her intention to file another application for the recusal of Committee Chairperson, Mr Dyantyi, due to the allegations that he, the late Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Pemmy Majodina had solicited a bribe from the suspended PP’s husband, for her case to ‘disappear’. The majority of the Members advised against Mr Dyantyi recusing himself. Moreover, they suggested that Adv Mkhwebane and the minority parties, led by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), raise and submit the allegations in the correct forum such as the Ethics Committee and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Mr Dyantyi told Adv Mkhwebane that she had until 9 June to submit her application, after which she will receive a response on 12 June. No oral submission of the application would be permitted as the Committee had to finalise its work as soon as possible.

Frustrated by what it felt was further delay tactics employed by Adv Mkhwebane, the Committee underlined that she would be afforded one more day to ensure that her counsel, led by Adv Dali Mpofu, was briefed by the State Attorney and ready to continue with hearings on 9 June 2023.

Meeting report

Chairperson: Welcome for the resumption of the Inquiry on this day, 07 June 2023. Let me welcome all of you, Honourable Members at this stage on the virtual platform; welcome, the Public Protector; welcome to Evidence Leaders; to welcome members of the media; welcome, members of the public joining us on their various platforms. Before I proceed, I want to take this opportunity, as you all know, to indicate that we start today's session short of one of our Members: we have lost Hon Tina Joemat-Pettersson. And for that, I am going to ask all of us to rise. There will now be an opportunity for silent prayer or meditation. Thank you. Please take your seats. Thank you, Hon Members. I just want to start with a few opening remarks; just to indicate as we start today, on 7 June, with our Inquiry. I thought it is important – so that there is no confusion – that there is absolute clarity about all of the efforts and attempts and the work that we have done to ensure that we do everything in our power to ensure that the Inquiry comes back and resumes. I want to quickly remind all of you that in February 2023, we assisted in ensuring that disputes relating to invoices are resolved, after the PP brought this to the attention of the Committee. On 1 March 2023, the PP alerted that funds will not be availed after 31 March 2023. And we became alive to this and we tried to manage proceedings so time is not wasted and unnecessary costs incurred, as it may prejudice the PP. On the 31 March 2023, the PPSA wrote a letter to the PP, confirming that funding has dried up and at various interventions on our side we needed to find money – and we ensured that those must be done. On 2 May, the PPSA confirms that an additional R4 million will be paid. On 5 May, the PP launches an application in the Constitutional Court regarding her legal fees, amongst other things. On 8 May, the PP attends the Committee hearing alone, saying she cannot engage Seanego Attorneys, and PPSA must do so. On 9 May, I wrote a letter, as Chair, to the CEO to resolve the impasse of who must brief Seanego. On 11 May, the PPSA CEO responds, maintaining the position that the PP must brief Seanego. On 12 May, the letter from myself to the PP indicated that hearings will resume on 17 May. On 15 May, Seanego withdraws two days before the resumption of the meeting. On 16 May 2023, there was a letter from the Chair to Seanego requesting clarity and for them to appear before the Committee; they refused. On 17 May 2023, the PP confirmed in our meeting in this room, that Seanego is no longer acting for her, and requested assistance, via the PPSA, in procuring the services of Chaane Attorneys – who are also on the panel of attorneys for the PPSA. Full reasons for Seanego no longer acting were not apparent as they invoked professional legal privilege, which the PP did not waive. The PP did, however, indicate to the media that it was because of funding and payment issues. On 18 May, I write to the PPSA CEO, asking that it assists the PP by appointing Chaane. On 23 May 2023, Chaane Attorneys is appointed as the correspondent attorneys. Since then, there would have been regular correspondence with Chaane Attorneys and the Secretariat about appointing counsel. On 24 May, Chaane indicated that Adv Mpofu will not accept the brief unless the juniors are appointed. On 25 May, the State Attorney informs Chaane that approval has been granted to also appoint the two juniors to support Adv Mpofu, as per his request. On 29 May, the State Attorney advises the PPSA that counsel has revised their fees and it is now increased. On 2 June 2023, this Committee met and resolved to proceed. Chaane Attorneys receives communication from the State Attorney, informing them that the counsel’s revised fees have been agreed to and they can proceed to brief counsel. I write a letter to Chaane, indicating that the Inquiry will now resume as the request of counsel has been met. That resumption will be on 5 June – the Monday that has passed. I also indicate that having regard to the request to conclude the evidence on Bosasa, CR17, and the SARS (South African Revenue Service), as would have been ventilated and discussed in the Committee meeting on Friday, that that is the route I am considering to take. But in that letter I also indicate to Chaane Attorneys and the PP that they need to give their comment on that intention that I am considering, by Sunday 13:00. On 4 June, there is a letter from Chaane indicating that they cannot brief counsel, as they need to familiarise themselves with the records of the matter, despite the PP indicating Adv Mpofu is her representative of choice. The letter arrives in the evening, whereas we gave a 13:00 pm deadline if there were issues to raise. I sent a letter to Chaane indicating that consideration is still being given to an approach of allowing evidence to be concluded on CR17/Bosasa and SARS, and a deadline for comment, extended to 5 June at 14:00, from 4 June at 13:00 so I repeat the matter in the letter. On 5 June 2023, late afternoon, I received a letter from Chaane Attorneys saying: “Mr Chaane is in hospital” and no one else can respond to the Chair’s letter in terms of the decision for the conclusion of evidence on CR17/Bosasa and SARS. In this letter that I write to Chaane, I also provide draft directives incorporating the process to provide for this decision. The 6 June, yesterday, I received a letter from the PP, personally to me, raising request for the following issues: one, recusal… an intention to apply for the recusal of the Chair; concern regarding legal representation; and thirdly, objection to the way forward, as indicated in that letter, in the manner that the Committee saw fit and discussed, on Friday 2 June, that we must endeavour to finish the first part, which involves CR17/Bosasa as well as SARS and Gordhan matters. I wanted this point before this brief tabling of the correspondence and the recapping by the legal advisor, to indicate that: 1. For the intention by the PP to ask for the recusal of the Chair, that if the PP would want to proceed on that matter, I would indicate that I would expect a recusal application, in writing, submitted by Friday 13:00; and I will endeavour, as a Chairperson, to respond to that recusal application by Monday, 13:00. There will be no oral presentation of the recusal that will be permitted. 2. On the issue of objecting to the way forward; your objection is noted, but the Committee has indicated its own decision as to how it wants to proceed. Therefore, that matter stands. 3. On the issue of legal representation, we would have received, this morning, a letter from the PPSA CEO, indicating that they have exercised their prerogative and their right on the options that would have been shared in the PP’s letter – paragraph 28 – that given the fact that the new attorneys have been hospitalised; that the State Attorneys have now insourced and taken over that task. There is a letter in that regard. I think the correspondence will also indicate that there is a sick note we have received from Mr Chaane, from a doctor, Farai Dube, who is indicating that he would have admitted him on 5 June and that when he is ready is subject to further notice – that is what the letter we received this morning indicates. So, by all accounts, all three issues put as part of the demand by the PP, have now been attended to. I would want now to ask the legal advisor and Mr Ngoma to briefly, as you would have received this correspondence, recap some of the things I have touched. Thereafter, I will open the platform for interaction and engagement. I thank you. Yes, I have noted all those hands. Ms Ebrahim.

Ms O Maotwe: Chair? Chair? Good morning. Chair? Good morning.

Chairperson: Morning, Hon Maotwe.

Ms Maotwe: Yes, my hand has been up, Chair, even before you started speaking but I respected you and thought that you will finish – well, I hoped against hope. You know, sometimes we even give murderers and rapists a chance. So when you were speaking I thought you were coming closer to saying: “Based on the above, I therefore resign”, which did not come through.

Chairperson: Okay, Hon Maotwe.

Ms Maotwe: My hand is up.

Chairperson: Hon Maotwe?

Ms Maotwe: No, no, Chair, I want to address you. My hand has been up since you started speaking. Can I please speak before you give the platform to the – whoever you want to speak to, because this is very important? My hand was up before you even began speaking, Chair.

Chairperson: Just hold, Ms Fatima Ebrahim. I want to indicate upfront that I think you have started on a wrong note. We are in a parliamentary session and your…

Ms Maotwe: Yes, I am aware.

Chairperson: Your language that you are using, I want you to restrain yourself from that language that you are using.

Ms Maotwe: What is wrong with saying…

Mr J Malema (EFF): No, there is nothing wrong, Chair.

Chairperson: I did not recognise you, Hon Malema.

Mr Malema: There is nothing wrong, and you are not going to give us that attitude. There is nothing wrong.

Chairperson: I have not recognised you, Hon Malema. I have not recognised you.

Mr Malema: But do not come with that attitude. Do not come with that attitude.

Chairperson: Hon Malema, you have not been recognised to speak. You are not going to do that.

Mr Malema: But I am calling you to order. I am calling you to order.

Chairperson: That is not an order that you are calling.

Mr Malema: You are out of order. There is a speaker on the floor. You are out of order.

Chairperson: Hon Malema, I have not recognised you. Hon Maotwe, I want you to continue.

Ms Maotwe: Yes, Chair. Thank you. Chair, I am going to read a letter that you wrote to the Speaker about you – and please just bear with me, I need to read it.

Chairperson: No, this is not a platform for you to read letters.

Ms Maotwe: No, it is, Chair. But it is my time. You cannot tell me what to do with my time, Chair. This letter is important: it speaks about you, Chair, and this Committee; just hear me out. What is wrong with you hearing me out?

Chairperson: That is not a point of order. That is not a point of order. You are getting into issues of debate: that is not a point of order.

Ms Maotwe: No, no, you have given me time to speak. You cannot tell me what to speak… what to say. Now allow me to say what I want to say.

Chairperson: Hon Maotwe?

Ms Maotwe: Yes.

Chairperson: You are going to be relevant to the purpose of today. I am not going to allow things that are happening outside of this Inquiry to give them a presentation (sic). This Inquiry and this meeting is not about that.

Ms Maotwe: It is not a presentation, Chair. Can you just hear me out?

Chairperson: I want to be very clear on that.

Mr K Mileham (DA): Chair, on a point of order?

Chairperson: What is your point of order, Hon Maotwe?

Ms Mileham: No, it is Hon Mileham, Chair.

Ms Maotwe: Yes, Chair. It has come to our attention that you, the late Ms Pettersson – may her soul rest in peace – and the Chief Whip of the ANC, Ms Pemmy Majodina, have been implicated in serious allegations of impropriety. These allegations are of a matter… of a nature that they threaten to severely undermine the credibility of Parliament and undermine the work of Section 194 Inquiry – our work. Specifically, Chair, this… you and the two Members are accused of soliciting a bribe from the Public Protector, Adv Mkhwebane, as alleged by her husband, Mr David Skosana.

Mr Mileham: Chair, on a point of order?

Ms Maotwe: A case has been lodged already with the South African Police Service and there is prima facie evidence of all these claims, Chair.

Mr Malema: You cannot call order when there is order.

Ms Maotwe: Including verifiable WhatsApp communication between Mr Skosana and the late Ms Pettersson. Given the gravity of these allegations, Chair, and in the interest of preserving the credibility and integrity of our Parliament, I hereby humbly request you, Chair, to recuse yourself from this Committee, so that we can continue without any cloud hanging over anybody, especially at the head of this Committee. Furthermore, it would be prudent for this… for you and the Members to take a leave from the National Assembly while that investigation is still undergoing, Chair, it is in the interest of this country that this matter must be concluded. Now, you cannot come here and behave as if there are no issues against you. We are pleading with you, as Members of Parliament – we are pleading with you, as Members of this Committee – to say: recuse yourself. It cannot be everything about you. What is so special about you, Chair? Recuse yourself. The ANC will appoint another to come here and stand over this Committee with you being at the helm of this Committee, because now you are even emotional before we start anything.

Chairperson: Thank you…

Mr Mileham: Chair, on a point of order?

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Maotwe, your point is made.

Ms Maotwe: You cannot do that, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Maotwe, your point is made and it is noted: we will respond to it. Hon Malema?

Mr Malema: Chair, thank you very much. I think that Hon Maotwe raised the points that I wanted to raise. And this is confirmed precisely by your behaviour just when we started this meeting. There is no way you will proceed as if there is nothing happening around your name, and that is why you are being emotional about everything. You can do what you are doing there; you know that there is an allegation of a bribe against you. And it has been made by your Member that you are soliciting a bribe. And therefore, it does not help anyone to be sitting here with a Chairperson who is facing such serious allegations. We are asking that you recuse yourself, especially from chairing, because these allegations are too serious. And then anyone can come and chair the Committee. This is for the sake of the integrity of the process, and for the sake of the integrity of this Committee, and for the Public Protector, to see justice being done; not justice only being done, but it has to be seen that indeed, justice is being done. So you are somehow under a very serious dark cloud. And this is going to affect your judgment; it is going to affect your performance. And the tantrums and the behaviour you displayed just this morning is a confirmation that you came with an attitude that nobody will tell you anything. This does not belong to you and is not one of the Tupperwares in your kitchen. You do not have to be so personally wanting to be involved that without you it will not be a correct Committee. It will still be a Parliament Committee without you. Please give yourself time, and your Chief Whip, to go and sort out this mess that you have created with the late Tina [Joemat-Pettersson]. And once you have done that, you can fully participate in Parliament. So that is my submission, Chairperson.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Malema. Hon Holomisa?

Mr Mileham: Sorry, Chair, I raised a point of order.

Chairperson: I have noted your hand, Hon Mileham.

Mr B Holomisa (UDM): Is he to continue or must I continue, Sir?

Chairperson: I have recognised you, Hon Holomisa.

Mr Holomisa: Thank you very much, Chair. Good morning to everybody. What I would like to request from you is to state briefly why the Public Protector is asking you to recuse yourself, because you did not tell us the reasons. We know that the earlier reasons which she advanced, those ones were rejected by the court. What is the new version from herself this time around which calls you to recuse yourself? Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Holomisa. Hon Mileham?

Mr Mileham: Chairperson, I think that the wrong approach has been adopted here by Hon Maotwe and Hon Malema. First of all, there has been no correspondence tabled in this regard to this Committee; so if they want us to consider correspondence then they must submit to the Committee so that we can consider it properly. That is the first point. The second is that the Committee and its structures were appointed by Parliament, and it would be up to the National Assembly, as a body, to then appoint a person as an alternate. And frankly, the allegations that they are making should be made as part of a substantive motion. They cannot just come in and throw allegations around against a Member of the House; they have to submit a substantive allegation. So I think that the entire wrong approach has been adopted to this particular element. And I would ask that you rule in that regard. Thank you, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you. Thank you, Hon Mileham. Just before I make a ruling, is there any other Member who wanted to comment on this before I make a ruling?

Mr Malema: Chair?

Chairperson: Hon Manketsi Tlhape and Hon Maneli.

Ms M Tlhape (ANC): Thanks, Chairperson, and greetings to the colleagues on the platform. Chair, I just wanted to speak on what has just been said by Hon Mileham; that this Committee has been appointed by Parliament. We have nothing before us, as this Committee, that suggests a change in how we have been structured. Now, I would say, Chair, my submission is that we stay put, as this Committee until, if ever, we get anything from Parliament or from the Office of the Speaker: we have nothing. We have been formulated and we have been appointed by this Committee as the Chairperson (sic): we have nothing from Parliament to this effect. Thank you, Chair.

Mr B Maneli (ANC): Can I proceed, Chair?

Chairperson: Okay, just wait. I am told our mic is not picking up. Okay, can you hear me, Hon Maneli?

Mr Maneli: I can hear you, Hon Chair.

Chairperson: Please proceed.

Mr Maneli: Thank you, Hon Chairperson. Greetings to Members, the Public Protector, [those] who are on the line. Chair, I think the points have now been covered, that in the first place we are entertaining a matter that is not before this Committee. And I do not think it is the task of this Committee to pretend to be the Speaker, if a matter is handled by the Speaker. Ours should be about the matter that comes before the Committee. This includes if there is a recusal application; you have already clarified in the journey that you are taking us through, that if that would happen there would be a response to it at an appropriate time; and that the Committee can entertain the matter once it is before the Committee. We are proceeding on the basis that there was a Committee meeting. That Committee meeting made it clear, even on Friday, that we would not entertain matters that are not before the Committee. At that time, it was allegations in the media. And those were not matters that were before the Committee. Even at this point it is still allegations that get made elsewhere and nothing substantive that has been put either before Parliament or the Committee. And let us just remember that our task is an Inquiry, clearly defined, and that is what we should be focusing on, Chair. And I want that at least we proceed from that angle, Chair, so that we engage the matters you have put before the Committee because we have not yet engaged those, pending the other people that are still going to speak: the legal and so on. And then we can engage comprehensively. Otherwise we are now taken to the side shows from the main stage. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Maneli. Hon Herron?

Mr B Herron (GOOD): Thank you, Chair. Chair, I just wanted to respond to the point of order, or the proposal from… the input from Hon Mileham. I think it is wrong to call for a substantive motion in the context in which we are currently in. We have all invested substantial time as Members of this Committee, Parliament and the PPSA have invested substantially financially in this process. There are these allegations, and I do not wish to make any predetermined… I had no predetermined idea as to whether there is veracity to the allegations or not, but the allegations do go to the heart of what we have been trying to achieve over the last year, which is to make sure that there is a substantially free, fair and untainted process. So I do not call for you to recuse yourself, I think that is a decision you have to make for yourself. But in giving direction and in response, that you intend to do now, I do hope that we are… that you are cognisant of the need for this whole process, the amount of time and money that we have invested in it, to retain its credibility. And I do not know how you are going to navigate that, but I think that Hon Mileham is wrong to suggest that the process and the decision-making and the discussion must take place outside of this Committee, which Committee is required to make a recommendation to the National Assembly, based on a free and fair process untainted, about whether the Public Protector is fit to hold office, in a nutshell. And with these allegations we need some clear direction as to how that can be achieved. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Mileham (Herron). Hon Zungula and then Hon Sukers.

Mr V Zungula (ATM): Thank you, Chair. I want to agree with Hon Herron here, in the sense that, Chairperson, this process, for the longest time there has been a very, very strong argument regarding the integrity of the process, the fairness of the process, and ensuring that the process is aboveboard, to avoid a case whereby after the conclusion of a process that takes a lot of money, a lot of time, and then when it goes to legal scrutiny, you find that the entire process gets to be, you know what, the report gets to be thrown away by a court of law because of some aspects or some parts of the process were not done above board. So in that context, Chair, the issue of your recusal is a matter that should be about your conscience, where you are going to say because of these allegations – and it is not just allegations that one would say is just rumours. There are WhatsApp conversations, there are voice recordings. Therefore, we cannot make this a non-issue. Now that speaks… It is about you, Chair, and what you deem to be something that is morally and ethically upright. However, we cannot dictate your consciousness. A lot of people, you know, might not have the kind of moral upstanding for them to take such decisions. However, it is our view that there needs to be guidance, in terms of even the legal team or legal team that is supporting this Committee, to say ‘In such a case, given the strength of these allegations we cannot just depend on you to recuse yourself, Chair.’ There needs to be guidance from the legal team to say ‘In light of the strong allegations which are backed up by evidence that needs investigation.’ I agree with Hon Herron to say we cannot determine or we cannot conclude whether they are true or not, but at the same time, we cannot just continue as if there is nothing that has been alleged with evidence that is in the public domain, that is imploring that there are Members of Parliament who sit on this Committee, and others [who] do not sit on this Committee, who solicited bribes in order to influence the direction of this particular Inquiry. Now, if you are going to preside over that Inquiry, or preside over… or going to continue presiding over the Inquiry, whereas there are these strong allegations, you know, we would be failing in terms of our job as Members of Parliament who sit on this Committee, if we were to allow that. So that is why I am saying that there are two options. The first option is you taking a conscious decision. The second one, it is the legal team that is supporting this Committee to advise that in such a case, when there is such (sic) strong allegations against a Chairperson. And you are not alleged, Chair, to… These allegations have got… It is not a matter of allegation about something that is not related to this Inquiry, it is at the core or the heart of this Inquiry. So that is why I would want the legal team to assist in terms of providing advice as to besides your recusal, your own decision to recuse yourself, what could be the other avenue that could be taken to restore the credibility or to assure the credibility of the process, not only to the Members of Parliament [and] Adv Mkhwebane, but to the entire citizens that when Parliament or Members of Parliament are facing such strong, serious allegations, you know, Parliament does not just continue as if nothing has been, you know, nothing has been said. So, that is our contribution on the matter, Chair. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Zungula. Hon Sukers?

Ms M Sukers (ACDP): Yes, Chair. Thank you so much. Good morning to you, Chair. Good morning to all the Members present and those in the venue. I want to extend… Can you hear me>

Chairperson: Hon Sukers, can you hear me?

Ms Sukers: Yes, I can hear you, Chair. Can you hear me?

Chairperson: We cannot hear you, Hon Sukers. Let us just quickly fix this; just take a pause. I hope they would hear me. We will take a break and be back at 11. IT (Information Technology) says there is a device active in this room but they need to pick up which is creating all of this, so you can indicate [to] them we will be back at 11:00. Can you hear me now, Hon Sukers?

Ms Sukers: I can hear you, Chair. Can you hear me?

Chairperson: Okay, I can hear you. Let us proceed then. Please, go ahead.

Ms Sukers: Yes, Chair. As I said, I was greeting everyone: the Members there in the venue as well. And I want to extend our sincere condolences to your organisation, the African National Congress, at the loss of Hon Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Chair, I want to say… I want to pick up from what was said by Hon Zungula, that the adverse is all true; the adverse in terms of the public's view of this process. The public has a view that the integrity of Parliament to fulfill its obligation and constitutional duty is compromised, because party representatives act not in the interest of the public, but in the interest of the parties; so the adverse is also true that there is an expectation that the process would not conclude and that we would not be able to fulfill our oversight properly. We have a duty to rectify and to restore the trust of the public in our processes, the processes of Parliament. And, Chair, we cannot afford any further delays. The issues that have been raised, we need to also say that because of the accusations or the notion that the process would not be fair or that the integrity of the process being questioned, that actually so much has been done to ensure fairness to the process. And we cannot even the issues that are being raised now against yourself in terms of extortion, all of those things, I would… I will not go into that, other than to say that actually, the process has, you know, been almost, you know, expanded in its leeway to ensure that every single effort is made that fairness is done to the Public Protector. So from the beginning of the process, I think Hon Mulder was the one that raised it first, there has always been the fear by myself and several Members, that we will not hear the PP answer our questions. We have seen frivolous cases dismissed. And we cannot forever go in this limbo while the cost meter keeps on ticking up – I think the last time we had an amount of R26.4 million. Chair, I ask you not to recuse yourself. You have been fair to the PP; this process has been more than fair to the PP. We must conclude; we owe it to the poor and the vulnerable. And I propose that just as in court that you set down the days for the hearing, you allocate the time for various parties, and they use that time or they do not use that time, but we cannot give more delays. We have an extensive written record and I urge you to keep the time allocated brief and that the Committee has ample time to question the PP, or if she does not make herself available, deliberate. – that we deliberate and obtain assistance from the Evidence Leaders. We cannot continue… What I want to say is we cannot allow the process now to even be… to add more to it – add more flavour to the sense of instability, throwing this process off kilter. We cannot do that. It is not just, it is not right. It is not just to the people that we serve and it is not right in terms of our own duty as Parliament to do oversight over Chapter Nine Constitution… my apologies, Chapter Nine Institutions. So those are my inputs, Chair. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Sukers. Hon Majozi, followed by Hon Mulder.

Ms Z Majozi (IFP): Thank you, Hon Chairperson. Good morning all Hon Members and all legal teams that are present today. Chair, I think when we spoke about this two days back, we had agreed that we cannot derail anymore; we must deal with the matters that are at hand. And we also approved the matter of a program. I think we cannot be dealing with thumbsucking of information and saying, ‘There are allegations’. Yes, they are allegations, and up until they are proven to be true, with evidence that will be brought forward, we cannot then be thumb sucking that out of your own conscience or what should happen, but we should be dealing with what we have in front of us. And right now, we had approved a program that we should be continuing with. These are other tactics that are derailing this Committee, so that we do not get to the end of the report, and that we do not actually finish the Inquiry and the mandate that we have been given. So I do not think you should recuse yourself. If this Committee had all the evidence at hand, that you are actually involved in certain things and what not and what not, we would not be in disagreement – we would all be agreeing that, Chairperson, we want you to recuse yourself, but that is not the case. We cannot be dealing with allegations and thumb sucking that there is evidence. If there is evidence, where is it, because it should be brought forward? So honestly, we are just being delayed here so that we do not finish with this report. And we have been having these tactics for a long time, Chairperson. It is not something that comes now. It is not something that is applied because it has happened because of what allocations have been brought forward. We have been having these delaying tactics for a long time, and we cannot deal with it. Let the Committee continue with its work. And the Chairperson will continue being the Chairperson of the Committee up until we get that evidence that ‘No, the Chairperson is involved in one, two, three’ and it has been proven, because we cannot be talking about allegations, talking about evidence that is there, but at the same time we are saying it is out of your own conscious: no. Let us be true Members of Parliament and serve with integrity on a serious note. We cannot continue like this. I do not think that the Chairperson should recuse himself. And we must continue with the adopted programme. Thanks, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Majozi, for your contribution. Hon Mulder?

Dr C Mulder (FF+): Good morning, Chairperson. Good morning, colleagues. The more things change, the more they stay the same. On the first day of this Committee's life, I predicted a delaying strategy and a Stalingrad strategy. And I was… I remember at the time Adv Mpofu took huge exception, but I was right – I was more than right. The fact of the matter is there is no credible mistrust from the public, at this stage, in this process: no credible mistrust at all. It is unfortunate that the attorney of the Public Protector is ill at this stage, but we all know that justice delayed is justice denied. And we all want to see that the Public Protector gets the necessary representation. So I welcome the fact that the State Attorney is prepared to step in and I think it is appropriate. And there is no reason why that should not be welcomed by the Public Protector. Let us proceed then. It is a very process to make allegations against the Chairperson or Members of this Committee. The allegations have now been made. We all saw the alleged WhatsApp messages and the allegations therein do not indicate, at all, any substantive evidence that we should consider whatsoever. Now, you did indicate that the refusal could be handled in the following manner: that there should be a written application. And you have given indication that…

Chairperson: Hon Mulder?

Dr Mulder: Yes, Chair.

Chairperson: You were breaking.

Dr Mulder: Can you hear me?

Chairperson: We cannot hear you. You are breaking. Just reposition yourself. Hon Mulder? Is he still there? We have lost him.

Dr Mulder: Chairperson, can you hear me?

Chairperson: Yes, you are muted.

Dr Mulder: Chairperson, can you hear me now?

Chairperson: Hello?

Dr Mulder: Yes, can you hear me?

Chairperson: Yes, we can hear you now.

Dr Mulder: Thank you, Chairperson. I do not know what happened with the load shedding. Now, the fact of the matter is that you have indicted how you intend to address if you receive a written refusal application. And you have indicated in what form it should be, and that you will respond in writing. And until that time, if such an application is made, there is nothing to discuss further in terms of recusal, whatsoever. I think we have agreed on a program on Friday, and I think we should proceed to request you not to recuse yourself, in the interest of justice. It is in the interest of the public, of the Public Protector herself that we proceed and conclude this process once and for all. And if the Public Protector may not be happy, time will tell, but she will have other avenues – but she is not going to derail this process. I want you to proceed immediately. Thank you, Sir.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Mulder. I had asked that I wanted to make a ruling after the Members have (sic) spoken. So I see Hon Malema. Is that a second bite that you want to have before I make a ruling?

Mr Malema: Yes, Chair.

Chairperson: Okay, go ahead.

Mr Malema: Chair, the story that there is no substantive motion is actually neither here nor there because we cannot meet here and then behave like there are no issues. There has been a loss of life based on, amongst other things, these allegations. And we can treat this matter as if it is not a serious matter. We came here with the understanding that you, on your own, will, perhaps in your introduction, make those remarks and ultimately say, ‘Because of these reasons, I will not proceed.’ There is nothing thumb sucked. People must know what the definition of thumb sucked is. You do not go to a branch and cram a concept of thumb suck and abuse it at this platform. Allegations have been made and letters have been written to the Speaker. WhatsApp messages have been publicised, implicating the leadership of this Committee. And I know it is very difficult to persuade the corrupt to agree with us in this regard, because their unity is based on [the] principle of corruption. And it is very unfortunate that other leaders of the opposition have joined the bandwagon of defending allegations of corruption. We would have failed, Chair, in our own duty, as a Committee and as parliamentarians, not to attend to these matters, if we come in this fashion and not say anything. Our duty is to confront corruption and bribery at any given moment where it raises its ugly head. And, Chair, we [are] saying we [are] speaking to your conscience. It is only you, and you alone; without any motion being put forward; without any substantive motion being put forward, you have a duty, yourself, to protect the integrity of this Commission. So the Public Protector must appear before a person who is alleged to have solicited a bribe in order for her to get a fair trial, and then people say it will be in the best interest of [the] Public Protector to proceed? It is not correct: it will not be. There is a huge, dark cloud hanging over your hand. And recusal does not mean a guilty verdict. You say ‘There are these matters; let me allow the process to continue untainted and once these matters have been clarified, we will come back to proceed with our matters.’ Even the judges do that on [a] daily basis. It does not mean they are weak. It does not mean they say they accept responsibility that they are conflicted. Sometimes they just say ‘For the sake of the progress… It does not mean I agree with it’; and that is what we are appealing to. Members of Parliament who are not driven by corruption will be standing up today and say ‘We [are] not finding the Chair guilty, but we think it is the right thing to do – for the Chair to recuse himself’. No one has ever said the Committee must stop. So anyone who says this is a delay tactic, you are hallucinating. There is no one who has ever said, ‘Let us delay this.’ We said ‘Let the Chair stand aside, and one amongst us will rise to proceed on this matter.’ The story that we are given a mandate by Parliament to proceed on this matter; there were no this allegations (sic) when Parliament said ‘Let us proceed’. So do not talk like no, we are still the same way we were when we were established by Parliament, it is not correct. When Parliament established us, no one solicited a bribe of R600 000, R200 000 for each. And you come here and want to behave like our people are not implicated in the bribe scandal: shame on you. Thank you, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Malema. The following hands will be the last hands I recognise, and then make a ruling thereafter. It will be Hon Xola Nqola, Hon Maotwe, Hon Mananiso, Hon Majozi, Hon Zungula and Maneli, then I will come to Room S12A to give the Member who is here to close that. And then thereafter I will make the ruling. I now have three Members, four with Hon Malema, five on the second bite. And I would want those Members with the second bite to be much shorter; I had given you an opportunity to speak. Over to you, Hon Xola Nqola.

Mr X Nqola (ANC): Thank you very much, Chairperson. Indeed, we are devastated with the passing of a Member of this Committee. We hope and wish that her family will heal. Chair, I think we have made a mistake when you started this meeting. We should have added an item in the agenda that is: rumour mongering, because now the meeting…

Chairperson: I did not get that. What item?

Mr Nqola: Rumour mongering… The meeting, now, is [at] a standstill, Chair, because of some rumours that are making rounds out there. But the reality is, Chair, in this Committee we have nothing concrete to confirm the rumours that are being made by [the] media out there. But, Chair, I think let me leave that point. We have been here at some point, Chair, where there have been applications for recusals. And it is in my belief that we have handled those matters properly as the Committee. And I do not want us to deflect from the system we have created ourselves, that when you want a particular, Xola Nqola, must recuse himself. We have set a system of how you do that. You do not come and make an announcement in a meeting ‘Recuse yourself’ and all that; you do that properly, in writing. There must be a response, then there must be an engagement by the Committee. Now, we are engaging with something that has not been returned to the Committee as a recusal application. We are engaging just a trough of words in the Committee meeting. And I am quite disappointed by the Members of the Committee to even entertain it and make it a Committee discussion, that there is a recusal application ‘recuse yourself’ and all that; which is something that we have, as this Committee, dealt with before. And we have done it very much properly and very much decently. So, Chair, I want to propose that we do not entertain anything that is not written to the Committee as a discussion of this Committee. We will await a clear communication from whoever wants to make that kind of application, then we will discuss it and indulge on it, as this Committee. But for now, we have nothing of that sort. So can we proceed, Chairperson, with the business that we set this meeting for today. I want to plead with the Chair, [and] I want to plead with Members of the Committee that we proceed with the business that we set this meeting for today. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Xola Nqola. Hon Maotwe, your second bite?

Ms Maotwe: Yeah, no, thank you, Chair. I was not going to speak after the president of the EFF because he covered me greatly. But I am tempted now, because of this colleague who just spoke before. Chair, we cannot ignore the fact that you are headlines, your name has made headlines, and that is what the Committee Members should know. So you are a topic in South Africa and possibly beyond the borders of South Africa; that you are implicated in a scandal, corruption scandal, of soliciting money. The WhatsApp messages are there, the evidence is there; it has been given. It is very sad that one of our own is no more now, today, a day after those messages were made public. So it is a public issue and you are chairing this Committee; where else can we speak to you or about you, if not in this Committee? And we are saying to you, we wrote to Parliament, by the way. And, Chair, this matter is even in front of the ethics committee, where you are a Member yourself. So Members of Parliament cannot say that there is no evidence and therefore let us just ignore everything else. The matter is sitting with the ethics committee: that is a fact. That matter about you and the claims, again, about your corruption. Now, Chair, please, we are saying to you, you are frustrating us. You see now, we spent almost an hour now discussing you? When you started, correctly, by addressing us we were hoping, like just at the end, we came with it properly, like timelines like that. ‘This is where we are. This is where we started. These are the letters. I therefore resign. I leave you, Committee, with this’. That is what we expected from you. Now we are all over fighting, trying to make sense to you, pleading with your conscience. Chair, just please be honourable and say ‘My name is out there in the media.’ When you switch on the TV, the radio, the newspapers, your name is there. These colleagues, their names are not there, well not as yet, but yours are there: your name is there. It is about you. Now, recuse yourself so that we can finish this matter of the Inquiry. We want to finish. That is why we are here. That is why we came here. We came here because we want to finish. Your party is the majority; they will still appoint another ANC Chairperson. We do not want to be those things of chairpersons ourselves. Maybe you think we want to take the chairpersonship – no, we do not want it. We are holding Members of Parliament accountable. That is our job. That is our mandate. So please, it is not true that this matter is not before Parliament. This matter is before Parliament. This message is… ethics committee. And because you are chairing this Committee, we cannot therefore ignore that there are claims of corruption, allegations of corruption against you. Recuse yourself, Chair. We are pleading with you. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you. Hon Mananiso?

Ms J Mananiso (ANC): Thank you, Chairperson. One, I want to actually welcome your presentation. And mine is just an order on you to say, as the Chairperson, please direct the meeting, because this thing of second bites, I do not think it is honourable, on the basis that you have given Members to actually discuss their issues and Members have been making input with regards to the issue at hand. So please, please take the decision with regards to whatever that has been discussed. And stop this thing that some of us we are abused here. We cannot be told that about corruption as if we are protecting corruption, the corruption that we do not know. And some of us we are not corrupt. So please direct us, Chairperson. We cannot be abused by Hon Malema and Hon Maotwe. We are not obsessed about being chairpersonships.

Mr Malema: No, you are talking absolute rubbish now. It is our right to speak. You are talking absolute rubbish.

Ms Mananiso: Please protect us, Chair.

Mr Malema: It is our right to speak here. We are not abusing you. What do you mean?

Mr Nqola: But, Chair, please do not allow this thing, please.

Ms Mananiso: What is rubbish, Hon Malema?

Mr Malema: No, what is abuse?

Mr Nqola: No, but, Chairperson, do not allow this.

Mr Malema: You know what is abuse. You are talking rubbish. That is rubbish.

Mr Nqola: Chairperson, do not allow this thing. It is going to degenerate all this (sic) Committee meeting, if you allow it, please.

Chairperson: Hon Malema? Hon Malema, I have not recognised you to speak, in the first place. I want you to refrain from what you are doing because that is completely out of order what you are doing. When a Member is on the platform, when you have been given a platform twice, and you start doing that; no matter whether you like or you do not like what the number is saying. I would like you to refrain from doing that. Hon Mananiso, please continue.

Ms Maotwe: Chair, on a point of order?

Chairperson: What is the point of order?

Ms Maotwe: Yeah, Chair, when we speak here we address the Committee through the Chair. But once a Member starts calling another Member by name then he is inviting him or her to respond; that is why you see Hon Malema responding. We were speaking here. We never mentioned a name of you, anyone but you, as the Chair, because we speak through you. Now, this Hon Mananiso comes and calls our names: why must we keep quiet, because you are not protecting us yourself, Chair? You must protect us from the abuse of Mananiso here. please.

Ms Mananiso: Hon Jane Mananiso. There is nothing honourable about what you are doing, Hon Maotwe.

Ms Maotwe: We do not want to respond to nothing (sic), she is not saying anything anyway.

Ms Mananiso: Same as you.

Ms Maotwe: We want to respond to the… But when our names are called… No, we cannot keep quiet. Protect us, wena, Chair, please.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Maotwe. Hon Mananiso, please proceed.

Ms Mananiso: I think I have concluded by saying that: please give us the direction. Leave this thing of [a] second bite, third bite and so on.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Mananiso. Hon Zungula? Hon Zungula?

Mr Zungula: Thank you, Chair. Do not shout at me.

Chairperson: You raised your hand.

Mr Zungula: I am addressing you, Chair. Firstly, Chairperson, there is no rumour mongering here. This is not a case of delay tactics.

Mr Nqola: Chairperson, order. Order, Chairperson.

Chairperson: Just pause, Hon Zungula. Hon Nqola?

Mr Nqola: Chair, you are out of order. I am calling an order on you. You are allowing this meeting to degenerate to responses. Everyone now is raising their own hand to respond to a particular Member and a particular Member. It now has nothing to do with the context of which we are discussing as the Committee. Now, Hon Zungula is coming back only to respond to a particular comment. So, Chair, please rule yourself out of order; you are out of order yourself. Thank you very much, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Xola Nqola. Your point is noted. I have given a second bite to Members and I have asked them to have a limited time to be briefed. But I do take the points you are making; that the second bite must be on issues, so that it is not just a repetition of the discussion. That point is taken, as well as I would have taken the point of Hon Maotwe, that as Members address, they address the Chair and not necessarily names and individuals. So thank you for that intervention. Please proceed and conclude, Hon Zungula.

Mr Zungula: Chair, you cannot ask me to conclude whilst I only said one sentence and I was rudely interrupted by Hon Nqola.

Chairperson: It is the second bite; I had limited it to everybody else. Please proceed.

Mr Zungula: Thank you. I must proceed, not conclude. Firstly, Chair…Yes, Chair, but now I am speaking, Chair. You are not going to tell me to conclude.

Chairperson: I will.

Mr Zungula: I have not even made one point [and] you are saying I must conclude.

Chairperson: Go ahead, Hon Zungula.

Mr Zungula: Thank you, Chairperson. Chair, here there is a case opened, and this case opened, it is in relation to your conduct, your illegal conduct, or allegations of illegality on your side, whereby it is alleged that you and other Members of the ruling party were soliciting bribes in order to influence or direct this process towards a particular outcome. That on its own, Chair, it is a very, very serious allegation. And the evidence is in the public domain; and not only in the public domain, but it has been brought to the attention of the Ethics Committee and brought to the attention of the Speaker. Therefore, if we are going to continue as if nothing has happened, and there is no serious, serious allegation, it means, Chairperson, this Committee and yourself is seriously undermining the role of Parliament, the role of the justice system, and seriously undermining the people of our country, who always expect that Parliament must act ethically. And if there are allegations that are there, then those allegations must be tested in order to give confidence that there is nothing to hide. The fact that we are going to have abantu that are going to try to deflect and say this is not a serious issue, or there is a time wasting, whereas there is a case open. This is not just in the media; media reported something that was in the… reported on a case that has been opened to the police (sic). Therefore, Chairperson, I want to implore you, if there is any sense of consciousness in you, and the respect of the people of our country, the logical thing will be to step aside, allow those investigations, allow the ethics committee to process whatever it needs to process, allow the police to do the same thing as well. But your continued stay in your role as a Chairperson, under such serious allegations, whereby a case has been open; then it means it is an indictment to the processes of this Committee. That is the first thing. The second thing, Chairperson, is that you are acting as if there is something to hide.

Chairperson: Hon Zungula, I want you to wrap up. You have made those points. You are repeating the same points.

Mr Zungula: I am wrapping up, Chairperson. Thank you. So when people have got something to hide, they get easily agitated when they are being held accountable; just like now we are discussing this issue, and we are saying that… we are not saying the process of the Inquiry must stop, but we are saying the person that is chairing, or the person that is presiding over this process that has got a serious allegation on the integrity of the process, must step aside and allow a person that has not been accused of soliciting bribes to actually continue proceeding with the process. But the fact that you are being defended, and you do not want to step aside, it clearly means there is… there could be truth to those allegations. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you. The last speakers, so I can make the ruling and when we proceed to the next item, Hon Majozi, Maneli, Nkosi and Lotriet. Thank you… In that order.

Ms Majozi: Thank you, Hon Chairperson. I think I will still repeat: let us not come into the Inquiry with our own object objections and thumb sucking of non-factual information and with no evidence that will be provided. We approved a programme, Chairperson, on Friday, that we are continuing with the Inquiry on matters that we should conclude on. And I plead with you, Chairperson, that let us continue with those. What thumb sucking means, Members will go to the dictionary. Hallucinating is when Members want to deal with non-factual allegations and nothing of any evidence that is brought forward. A case is opened, if that is the case is opened and you have found that you are found wanting, you should be arrested by now. We would not be dealing with a Chairperson here; we would be dealing with the fact that we do not have a Chairperson because our Chairperson is arrested because of this evidence. So let us continue, Chairperson. If we can take everything that is being said on media (sic), I am sure [that] today we would not be having a government or any other political party that is represented for people; so you are not going to recuse yourself. We are going to continue with this Inquiry up until we finish with the matters at hand. Thank you Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Majozi. Hon Maneli?

Mr Maneli: No, thank you, Hon Chair. I think my points have been covered by the previous speaker; that there is no recusal application before the meeting. It would help us that you take us to the next point, because it was on point of orders that we are now discussing. You have dealt with the first part and you were giving to legal to also make input so that if we are to get in, we have a comprehensive approach to the matter. And I want again, the last point, Chair being a reminder, again, we convened because there was a meeting of the Committee on Friday, the conditions under which that Committee was convened was such that the allegations were also there in the media. It is not like we are waking with a surprise today, that they are those. And we entertained that discussion; and hence, we concluded that we proceed on the basis of how we said we would proceed. So I also join those that say: Chair, do that, lead us until the item is dealt with properly. Of course, those who have got evidence, there are structures that have been referred to, and I am sure that they will be able to even assist the process because I take it that we do not say things we do not mean and ask others to do things we cannot do. Thank you, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Maneli. Hon Nkosi?

Mr B Nkosi (ANC): No, thanks, Chairperson. I think the points that have been made by previous speakers, I am covered thereon, save to one, remind the Committee of our decisions on Friday; we took a decision to proceed irrespective or even in consideration of what was said and appeared in the media. We have had numerous recusal applications here and I think, at all times, we arrived at the decision that to recuse oneself is not a light matter, even in the light of the seriousness of allegations that are tabled. An impression must not be created here that we do not take these allegations seriously – we do take them seriously. And that is why we are affording you and the processes to conclude. Thirdly, that there are referrals to the police and to a Committee of Parliament. And we should leave it at that; that those committees have not reported back to us. If there was anything really that impedes our processes, the Speaker and the Chair of Chairs would have indicated such and we would not have met in this form. And I think let us give those bodies the opportunity to reflect on those issues and take a decision. I support your proposal, Chair, that one, there must be a written application for recusal, substantive, presented to this Committee. And as we do with all other applications, we consider it and that your response to that be as you have proposed, that you will respond by Monday. And it is at that point that will entertain all these things that have been said here. In arriving at a decision as you take into consideration the benefit of what is being said here, but including the legal advice that you would have obtained from the Committee support section. I just want to conclude, Chair, by saying the following two things. One is that I really do feel that you and the powers that be should protect the Committee. I do not want to express anything on the WhatsApps, but it should not be that our gadgets are hacked. It should not be, Chair, because then there will be a very serious problem for all of us participating in the Committee. If the privacy of our communications personally and officially is compromised, then we face a very serious issue that the Institution must protect us against. And lastly, Chair, my understanding is that it is the Public Protector who is accounting – in fact this word accounting misleads. It is the Public Protector who appears as a subject of this Committee. And that is the focus that we must zoom in on. It is not any other thing other than the Public Protector appearing before us. She has a responsibility to answer to the allegations of misconduct and incompetence, as found on a prima facie basis by the panel; and that is what we have been concerned with for the entire year, up to this point. And I want you, in making your ruling, to take that into consideration, that we are not here to be inquiring on yourself (sic) or myself or any other person. Please emphasise that the Public Protector has an opportunity to come and answer on the allegations of misconduct and incompetence, as found by the panel on a prima facie basis. And that is what must guide us. I agree that there is no reason for you to recuse yourself, one; and two, that we must proceed forthwith. And with that, I would like to apologise that I have to go to a meeting at 12. Thanks, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Nkosi. Hon Lotriet?

Dr A Lotriet (DA): Thank you, Chairperson Yes, I just want to add my voice to the fact that I think we should stick to your initial decision and, well, guidance, that we need any application for recusal in writing, and that it is then up to you to decide whether you recuse yourself or not: because for an hour and a half, now, we have heard assumptions, allegations, aspersions, and I do not think it is doing this particular Committee any favors. So I also propose that we proceed, and then you await an in-writing request for recusal. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Lotriet. Let me just then make the ruling, Hon Members. And it will be a very brief one because having listened to all of you – maybe before I do that, just to appeal to all of you, as Members, that we have been on this journey. All of us, I want you to continue exercising the decorum, the patience, and your determination and commitment to ensure that we have a rational and a fair process. We have done that against all odds, colleagues. If the pilot is not appreciated because of how he got from point A to point B within a particular time, the pilot is appreciated for how he navigated turbulence and reached the destination with the passengers. Take that – it is very important. As you get sometimes irritated by the kind of issues that, in many instances, have less to do with the business we are in. It is important that you absorb that and that this Inquiry as we meet, it is now at the tail end. We have got to conclude the important work that you have started. Nothing must really derail it; allow no sideshows to do that. But it is important that we hear everybody. I do not sit here measuring which inputs are [more] important than the other inputs. I listen to all inputs, even inputs critical to me as a Chair, to absorb that: that is the reason why I am a Chair, and chairing this Inquiry. So I want to appeal to those Members that feel that I should not have done this and that, to say to you we were going to stay focused. We know what it is that we need to do. We know where we are going, even if we take an off ramp – we have taken many of those off ramps, some out of nature, others created as part of this process. We have taken those off-ramps but we are determined that we are not stopping where we off-ramped: we proceed. I think that I can say we are closer to us concluding this important parliamentary and constitutional work that we have been assigned to do, as Members of this Committee; a very novel process. [A] historical Committee in its own very nature, and the kind of work that it has done: nothing must derail it. So as I make the ruling, I want to repeat what I would have said on Friday and, and today. Firstly there are allegations that are there, and those allegations have been channeled to [the] proper platforms where they belong. Somebody made allegations; somebody reported those allegations to enforcement agencies. And as Hon Nkosi says: do not try to preempt, to try to put pressure, to try to define how they need to do that. Let us allow, if the police are investigating these allegations, the police to do their work. But let us not try and want to short circuit that; let them do their work, as they always do their work in all other cases. Secondly, the matter would have been reported, in terms of the advice of the Speaker – the Speaker would have advised when she received the letter from the Public Protector to say ‘There is a Committee of Parliament where such matters are deposited. That matter has been deposited to that Committee; allow that Committee to do its work. You cannot have the work of that Committee being ventilated in the Inquiry; those issues do not belong here in the Inquiry.’ But that is the first point. The second point, which I want to repeat, I have made it clear, if any Member or anybody, and I would have spoken in response to the Public Protector’s intention – that she indicated in the letter – of recusal of the Chairperson… And I was saying I welcome that. And I was saying it is important that if there is a recusal that it is coming, that recusal must be done, and it must be done in writing. And I would have indicated that we move with speed, that on Friday, 13:00, one would expect that written recusal, if there is any written recusal that really explains why somebody must be recused. And secondly, determined to work throughout, even this weekend, to ensure that come Monday 13:00 hours, there is a response to that written recusal. Thirdly, I did say that we are not going to have an oral presentation of that recusal application; it will be done in writing and responded in writing. And the Committee will have an opportunity to navigate those issues and ventilate itself around those things. That is the ruling I make, which I repeat some of the things that I have said before. I am now going to invite Ms Fatima Ebrahim to take us through what I wanted her to do in the first place. Thank you. Over to you.

Mr Holomisa: Chairperson?

Adv Mkhwebane: Chairperson?

Mr Holomisa: Have you not forgotten to respond to my point? It was different, completely. Thank you.

Chairperson: I think I did [but] you can remind me if you think I did not.

Mr Holomisa: You did not. I asked you to clarify to the Committee as to what exactly is the Public Protector…

Chairperson: Okay. Okay, let me answer you. Sir, I hear you now. My response, Hon Holomisa, is that as things stand there is no recusal application. In the letter of the Public Protector, there is an intention that is what she will pursue. And therefore what I am doing, I am encouraging both herself and anybody else who wants to do the recusal to do that. So there is no recusal application in front of us as we meet here today. Thank you, Hon Holomisa.

Mr Holomisa: But, Chairperson, what did she say? What is she asking you, us, to do? We have a right to know that. Please, just summarise it for us.

Chairperson: Yes, we will summarise that for you because it is part of…

Mr Holomisa: Raised by you.

Chairperson: Thank you. It is part of the update and it is also in the letters that we have sent to all of you, but we will emphasise and lift it up in terms of paragraph 28. Ms Ebrahim?

Ms Fatima Ebrahim (Committee Legal Advisor): Thank you, Chairperson.

Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane: Chairperson? Chairperson?

Chairperson: Who is that? PP?

Adv Mkhwebane: Yes, my hand has been up since the beginning. Are you going to be giving me an opportunity?

Chairperson: Yes, I will give you an opportunity, PP.

Adv Mkhwebane: Alright.

Chairperson: I will. Ms Ebrahim?

Ms Ebrahim: Thank you, Chairperson. Good morning to yourself and all the Members and everybody in the room today. Chairperson, you have given a high level overview of the correspondence. I am going to try to zoom in on the salient points that will help the Committee in terms of direction on the way forward. As you indicated after our meeting on Friday last week, us having been informed that the issues relating to the two juniors that Adv Mpofu had requested, as well as the increase in the fee rates having been resolved, we then wrote to Chaane Attorneys, indicating that we will going to resume with the Inquiry on the 5th of June, which would have been on Monday. Importantly, for Members, Chair, is the fact that in that letter, the Chair indicated that we will have regard to the request that was made, if I recall correctly, by Hon Dlakude, that we conclude the evidence on the Bosasa/CR17 and SARS matter. And Members will recall that is something that was raised by Adv Bawa after the conclusion of the portion on Bosasa/CR17. And the Chair did not agree at that point. But the point was raised, again, about Hon Dlakude last week. Chair, the deadline of the 4th of June, at 13:00, was given to Chaane Attorneys to let the Committee know if there is anything they wish to bring to the attention of the Committee before we were meant to resume on Monday. We received a letter on Sunday, the 4th of June, where Mr Chaane indicated that they are not in a position to believe counsel, because as the attorneys of record, they would need to familiarise themselves with the records in the matter, in order that they may properly brief counsel. They said that furthermore, they will be able to believe counsel until such time as the questions around the payment issues are resolved, and in particular, what would happen once the R4 million cap had been reached, and who would take responsibility for the payment of any fees beyond that. And the request there was that the Inquiry be postponed indefinitely, until those issues are resolved. Chair, we then sent a response to that letter, where the Chair indicated that Chaane Attorneys had not positively agreed to the request for a backroom meeting that had come from the Secretariat, where some of these matters, perhaps, could have been ventilated earlier on. And also that it was not clear as to why they were not in a position to brief Adv Mpofu being that the PP had made it clear that he was her legal representative of choice. And Chaane Attorneys, according to the correspondence from the State Attorney and the information before us, were acting as correspondent attorneys. And as I explained to Members last week, in terms of our law it is necessary that an attorney brief’s counsel because the PP would not have been able to do that herself nor the PPSA. In that letter, we also indicated again that consideration has been given to this issue of concluding the evidence in relation to the CR17/Bosasa and SARS matters; and a further extension was granted to 5 June, at 14:00, even though there was no request for an extension, but the Chair gave that extension. On the 5th of June, Chair, we did not receive any response by that 14:00 pm deadline, but later that afternoon, correspondence was sent from Chaane Attorneys, indicating, as you said, Chair, that Mr Chaane is in hospital. And in terms of a letter that was signed-off by one of his directors in the firm, she indicated that given the delicate stage and circumstances of this matter, Mr Chaane was personally giving the matter his full attention, and therefore it was not possible for any other person to meaningfully respond to your letter. The Chairperson then wrote back to Chaane Attorneys very late that night. And that letter contains the decision of the Chair in respect of the conclusion of the evidence on the CR17/ Bosasa and SARS matter. And Members, if they read that letter, will see that it paints the picture in terms of how the Chair arrived at that decision and all the reasons for supporting it. But briefly, some of those reasons, Chair would be that the fact that the PP has raised her concerns about the fact that the Evidence Leaders had briefed the Committee on these two matters, in particular, and this would allow for the PP, now, to respond to questions on those matters and to raise any issues that she has, in respect thereof, it will allow the Committee staff to start working on one part of the report, at least given the fact that the PP had submitted a statement in two parts. We highlighted the importance of the Committee completing its work before the PP’s term ended in October and, of course, also the duty of the PP for us to conduct our work in a reasonable timeframe, because, as we have indicated, she is the subject matter of the Inquiry and procedural fairness to her also requires that the matter is dealt with expeditiously. Then, Chair, you also pointed out, in that letter, that you take note of the Constitutional Court judgment which indicated that accountability and fidelity to the rule of law is obtained via this Committee process, and to date, notwithstanding that this process has already been ongoing for some 11 months in the Committee itself – and of course, longer beyond that – the PP has still to respond to Members questions in any substantive way at least. The PP, of course, did respond to some written questions earlier on in the process. The issue of public interest was also raised. The Chair then indicated that the intention is to resume hearings today, being Wednesday, 7 June. And a copy of draft directives were attached to that letter for further comment by the PP; and what those draft electives seek to do, and it would be would have been sent to Members – is to concretize this decision of the Chairperson, that we are going to conclude on the CR17/Bosasa matter. Chairperson, we then, yesterday, 6th of June, received a letter from the Solicitor-General. And that followed on a letter from the Secretariat, because what had happened is when the Secretariat and they receive the correspondence from Chaane Attorneys indicating that they are not in a position to brief counsel, they then sent these letters to the Office of the Solicitor-General, because the Solicitor-General, of course, had now assumed this role of appointing Chaane Attorneys, via the State Attorney, to brief counsel. So it was then brought to the attention of the Solicitor-General that this had not been done and that it may result in delays to the Committee process. And the Solicitor-General responded to the letter, Chair, and he did raise concerns about the fact that the fees of counsel had been increased and that this may be negatively or adversely impact on the Committee proceedings going forward. And he said it would be crucial to find a resolution that allows for the continuation of the Inquiry; and there were various possible solutions that he raised that the Committee could consider. However, Chair, that letter comes on the back of the PPSA having already instructed the State Attorney that they could agree to the increased costs. Chair, we then received a letter addressed to yourself from the PP, personally, not from Chaane Attorneys; and that letter would have been shared with Members, and it raises a number of issues. This is the letter that you referred to with the various demands. Some of the issues, Chair, that you have not touched on include the adequacy of this R4 million amount, which we know is ring-fenced and capped. The PP also noted that she objects to the communication from the PPSA, which was echoed in your letter as well, Chair, that she must bear the costs, personally, after the depletion of this R4 million. She raised an objection in terms of your proposed way forward in dealing with the CR17/Bosasa and SARS matter, and she indicated that since you had previously considered this request when Adv Bawa had raised it and you had denied it at the time, you were functus officio, meaning that you cannot reconsider a decision that you have already made. And she indicated that she has no reason, whatsoever, to delay the Inquiry, whether deliberately or otherwise. And in her view, the charges are spurious and baseless, and there is a scheme to manipulate the evidence before this Committee. She indicated further that she intends to instruct her attorney to move an application for removal of the Chair, if you fail to voluntarily recuse yourself in relation to the allegations of bribery. And Chair, I think we have dealt extensively with that, but for the benefit of Hon Holomisa, the Public Protector did since through proof of the alleged WhatsApp communication. And my understanding is that the Secretariat has shared that communication with Members. In terms of the demands, Chair, was that the Inquiry be suspended until all the outstanding issues relating to legal representation are resolved, including the recovery of Mr Chaane who, as I said, has taken ill. And failure to comply with that would result in an urgent court application. Chairperson, we then received a second letter from the SG (Solicitor-General), without an intervening letter between the earlier letter that the SG had sent, where the SG indicated that in light of Mr Chaane’s illness and the increase in counsel’s fees, he has taken a decision to terminate…

Ms Maotwe: Chair? Chair? Chair?

Chairperson: Just pause. Yes?

Ms Maotwe: The speaker is repeating everything else that you have already said. Is she writing you notes? Or what happened? Because whatever she is saying is what you said already – exactly like that.

Chairperson: No, no, no, Hon Maotwe. We are going to allow Ms Fatima Ebrahim to proceed. Please do not do that. Go ahead, Ms Ebrahim.

Ms Ebrahim: Chair, the Member will forgive me if it sounds like repetition, because I am merely capturing what is in the correspondence itself. Chair, the SG indicated that he has made a decision to terminate the mandate of Chaane Attorneys, and that the State Attorney, Pretoria ,will now act as correspondent attorney, subject to the PPSA agreeing – the PPSA obviously being… giving the instruction since they [are] getting the costs. The PPSA then responded affirmatively to the Solicitor-General, saying that this would be in order and that they see it as a cost-effective solution because it does mean that the costs that would have had to be paid to Chaane Attorneys would now be a saving because the State Attorney would play that role. Chair, in this regard, I just want to raise paragraph 28.1 of the letter from the PP, in which he indicates that counsel may be briefed either by her attorney of choice or the State Attorney, whichever is mandated by the PPSA. And, Chair, I raise that because there was a question last week about possible conflict of interest if the State Attorney were to assume this role and the PP had said she had objected.

Chairperson: Are you able to flight that paragraph – those paragraphs?

Ms Ebrahim: Yes, I will ask Tshepo to do that. But the PP had indicated an objection to that, notwithstanding that we had a previous letter from the other attorneys, RMT, if I have the name correct, where they indicated that that would have been in order. But nonetheless, Chair, as it currently stands, and this is the direction from the PPSA, that the State Attorney must proceed with the termination of the brief of Chaane Attorneys, and they would then act in the stead of Chaane Attorneys. Chair, on this issue of the conflict of interest, I just want to raise that the State Attorney typically deals or represents the state in all its parts; so it is not uncommon that the State Attorney would be acting for litigants that are in fact acting against each other. So when you have departments, perhaps, that are involved in the same litigation, but are counterparts on that litigation. And they had, Chair, what we call a Chinese Wall. In other words, there is an ethical barrier, which is designed to prevent the information or flow of communication that could lead to a conflict of interest. In the case of this Committee, our dealings in terms of appointing the Evidence Leaders and dealing with all the litigation to date, has been via the State Attorney, Cape Town office, whereas this, now, would be via the State Attorney in Pretoria. Chair, this morning we then received communication from Chaane Attorneys where they provided us with a copy of a sick certificate, indicating that Mr Chaane is booked off until further notice – but, of course, had overtaken this, without our role to communicate with them in terms of this brief, because that is between the PPSA, the State Attorney and the Solicitor-General. But while sitting here, Chair, we have just received, via WhatsApp, communication from Chaane, where they have indicated that their mandate has been terminated by the Office of the State Attorney, and I will ask Tshepo to share that with Members, as well. So, Chair, that is where we currently stand. Chaane is no longer participating [in] this process. The State Attorney, Pretoria, issues that role; and, of course, depending on the outcome of the recusal application, we will advise on the way forward. But that is as things currently stand. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Ms Ebrahim I guess that there is no further point and addition. Maybe before I proceed further, this will be an opportunity to recognise the hand of the PP. But I hope that Members are now getting the summary of what has been presented, because what has been presented is indicating quite a number of developments; that when Chaane Attorneys, in the correspondence you have received, would have indicated that the person who was driving this has been hospitalised. And today, we have a sick certificate that we have received, indicating that he has been hospitalised until further notice – there is no date for when he can come back. As of last night, and this morning, as indicated, we received both letters from the SG – the Solicitor-General – as well as the PPSA CEO, confirming that actually the State Attorney has taken over that role for the briefing of the counsel; hence the WhatsApp message from Chaane that their role has been terminated. So I am just summarising everything else that would have been indicated. It is in that letter, Hon Holomisa, in paragraph 28, where – and the PP will speak for herself – she is indicating what options are available to her and the intentions she has. If it is proper with you, Hon Members, can I now take this opportunity to allow the PP to speak, having raised her hand? And then you can then come thereafter, before we then say what is the way forward; and that way forward is informed by the discussions we had on Friday, as this Committee. Thank you. I now recognise you, Public Protector.

Adv Mkhwebane: Good morning, Chairperson. Good morning, Members of the Committee, members of the public. Thank you, Chairperson for giving me an opportunity. I would like to start by saying, Chairperson, the truth is that actually what Fatima was indicating, which was not captured properly. And I have clarified in the letter that the counsel of my choice was not yet briefed. So I wanted to make sure that I write that letter. I was not supposed to actually communicate directly, but it is because my attorney was admitted – is at the hospital. And I think it was going to be just the end of it as well, Chairperson, Chairperson. And let us not expose even the doctors and everything because the person, I mean, there is evidence that he was admitted on the day I was supposed to appear. So…… And I indicated in the matter, Chairperson, which I wrote to you, which you say Members of the Committee are having the letter. And ideally, the response was supposed to come from my attorneys. And in my letter I was addressing what you are saying, Chairperson, that it is not true that all impediments to the Inquiry have been lifted because I did not have a… I am not having a counsel to represent me or counsel has not been briefed. And another issue, Chairperson, is that paragraph 32 of your letter, where you granted me until the end 14:00 pm of the 6th of June to make representation regarding the proposed change, yet on the 5th, then you further communicated your decision, which I think you just decided even before hearing my representation. In any event, that is why I said those directives will have to be dealt with by the counsel and the issues to be ventilated, properly, because that is what, well, you have mentioned, and Fatima has mentioned. And I will also want to indicate, Chairperson, that the Chaane Attorneys was appointed as the choice after Seanego, taking into consideration that Seanego was well-versed with the all the information; if it was not for that letter of Gcaleka of 1 March, we would not be sitting here. And it is not the fault of the Committee is not also my fault that that letter was written because we would have proceeded well, but now, there is this, now, blame on me, and I do not know why, by Hon Mulder and them, that I am delaying the process because we would have proceeded properly. So the issue of the attorneys: I saw in the letter you were mentioning that they came late, and I said they will address it themselves, and that they are a correspondent… I do not understand that. Hence paragraph 28 where I said Chaane or any State Attorneys. But you remember there is a letter where the Solicitor-General is conflicted, and even confirmed that in the previous meeting. And I am so shocked that PPSA and Solicitor-General went ahead – they decide that they are terminating. I see this letter here; it is just a shock. The attorney is still in hospital. I am sitting here; I see a letter that the mandate of the attorney has been terminated, just like that. So I do not know, as well, what does that say? Because [the] Solicitor-General understanding as well, that they are well conversant with the judgment of the ConCourt about the issue of the attorney of my choice; hence, I requested the panel of attorneys. I then indicated that another attorney can be Chaane. So I do not know when they have agreed with the State Attorney, what does that mean? Another issue, Chairperson, is that, in your letter, you were alleging that I did not give instruction to attorneys, which I also totally do not agree with. And I mean you could see that I have given instruction to the attorneys, they were proceeding with the matter. And for professional reasons, they were saying they cannot just go ahead and deal with the matter without reading the documents, because that is how the legal profession works. I mean, the State Attorney will explain – I do not know whether they understand that. Fatima as the legal practitioner, and even Evidence Leaders, they know how to brief counsel; you cannot just be a postbox as an attorney and not read and also you need to contribute. But then I do not know, then, if the State Attorney would want to take that responsibility, and they are conflicted. And hence, I said, Chairperson, I have no reason to delay the Inquiry. And the suggestion that the issue of the Evidence Leaders what they are paid, and that the News24 article covered that: it is so wrong. And I indicated that I reject that, because members of the public, they have a right to also know, including Sukers, who has always been blaming me for the costs. So people are not subscribing to News24. So when you’re referring people to [the] News24 article, because you cannot read that. And the headlines was speaking about Adv Mpofu; was not indicating how much other... the Evidence Leaders are paid. And I think Hon Maotwe raised that 10 months ago. And I do not know that process… anyway, it is for the Members of this Committee to also insist on that; I do not know whether through your parliamentary process. So on the issue of the Hon, the late, Ms Joemat-Pettersson, and the referral to you and the Chief Whip and to address the issue that is hearsay. Hon Nqola is saying it is rumour mongering and Hon Majozi – you even were interviewed on TV, and you said if evidence is brought, you will request the Chairperson to recuse himself. And I mean, I wrote the letter, to the Chairperson, requesting the Chairperson to recuse himself out of his own conscience; not to say… I mean, I said as a last resort I will do the application to do that. And secondly, I never asked Ms Joemat to approach my husband, and to have that. The case is opened, hence, the journalist got the information from the police. And yes, I have lodged a complaint with the ethics committee, and unfortunately, the Speaker published that I approached her, and she advised me, before even the newspaper articles which were mentioning about her refusing to meet with me. And I must indicate, Chairperson, that, hence, I am saying to you, and what Hon Holomisa is asking, I find it difficult to appear before you, as the Chairperson, who has been implicated or who is alleged to have also sent Hon Joemat, may her soul rest in peace, to come and solicit bribe from my husband. And, Chairperson, I have heard the audio, the recordings, and recordings will be made available as well to the Committee, and the members of the public will even hear for themselves where you and Ms Majodina are implicated in that recording. The police have been given that recording; hence I could not just sit after hearing. And I said the case must be opened immediately. So Majodina, if you say there is no concrete evidence when there is [a] WhatsApp; others were saying, ‘No, there is no mention’ of you. There is a recording, which the public will be hearing, which I have had, where you were said to have solicited the bribe; and you were called name and Ms Majodina was called by name on that. So if Hon Sukers is coming here…I mean, it is so even embarrassing to find that…

Chairperson: Can you pause? There is a point of order. Can you pause? Hon Nkosi?

Mr Nkosi: No, thank you, Chairperson. With due respect, is the PP now giving evidence on her own WhatsApps to this Committee? This Committee is not constituted to, and it does not have the competence nor the investigative powers, go into what she is saying. I would request that you go back to your ruling that the appropriate bodies to which this matter has been referred, be the ones that determine the veracity or none of what she is saying. We cannot sit here and listen to that evidence be led here. Thanks, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Nkosi. The point of order is upheld. I had made a ruling, PP, that – and I have mentioned these forums where whatever allegations or evidence people have, should be sent to them. It is not expected that in this Inquiry you would… even if you have got an audio, that audio must be sent to where it belongs. So I would want you to restrain from presenting what you have presented in those forums and bodies, because it is not appropriate for this meeting. Please, go ahead.

Adv Mkhwebane: Chairperson, unfortunately you are upholding the point of order, but if you read my letter, Hon Nkosi, it is paragraph 24: “Regarding the allegations of corruption against you” the late “Ms Pettersson and the Chief Whip [Ms] Majodina, your proposal that they should only be addressed in the media is both absurd and extremely self-serving. Contrary to your labelling, these are no hearsay allegations. In fact, this is incontrovertible evidence in the form of WhatsApp messages and other conversations, confirming the allegations beyond any questions. While it is indeed so that the allegations of criminality against you, Ms Pettersson, are subject of a police investigation and the Ethics Committee.” That does not remove the relevance to this work, Chairperson, because you are sitting here and I hear you have made a decision about the application. I do not have legal representation currently. And when that legal representation is availed, and I will have to then make that application. But that is a fact which is there, Hon Nkosi; it is not hearsay, it is not veracity. The investigation is ongoing. I have the evidence before me. I have listened to that and it is at the core, the centre, of this matter. So that is why I am saying.

Chairperson: Public Protector?

Adv Mkhwebane: So unfortunately, Chairperson, as Members of this Committee, I was raising this…

Chairperson: Public Protector?

Adv Mkhwebane: I brought the evidence before you. It is in my letter. It is so disheartening.

Chairperson: Public Protector, please. PP, I am asking you again, please do not continue speaking on this issue: I have made a ruling. I am asking you not to continue doing that. Raise other issues that you want to raise. There is a ruling on this matter.

Adv Mkhwebane: But, Chairperson, I am reading my letter in full.

Mr Malema: On a point of order, Chair?

Mr Zungula: On a point of order, Chair? On a point of order, Chairperson?

Chairperson: I have made a ruling on this issue. I want you to speak to other issues you want to raise.

Mr Malema: Point of order, Chair?

Chairperson: This is not a platform for you to present that. We have defined where that all belongs.

Mr Malema: On a point of order?

Mr Zungula: On a point of order?

Chairperson: Yes, Hon Zungula.

Mr Zungula: Chairperson, the Public Protector is reading the correspondence from herself to you. She covered issues contained… pertaining to the issue of legal representation. Now when she is covering what it is there, in paragraph 24 of her correspondence to you. And when she is saying that there is an audio recording, you seem to be agitated, and you want to stop her from continuing with what, you know, she has covered in her letter to you. So, Chairperson, please protect the Public Protector. Allow her to detail what is in that return correspondence. I do not understand, Chairperson, how, you know, you are going to want, now, to silence the Public Protector when she is dealing specifically with this issue; because when she was speaking about the issue of legal representation, you had no issue. So, please, protect her. Allow her to address what is in that correspondence, as full as it is: please, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Zungula. That is exactly… That is really not a point of order that you are raising.

Mr Malema: No… On a point of order?

Chairperson: This communication has been shared with all Members. Please, let us not do frivolous point[s] of orders, colleagues. Hon Malema, what point of order are you raising?

Mr Malema: Chair, this looks so awkward… This looks so awkward that she now deals with issues that implicate you, and then you are the one that wants to cut her; you are censoring her, precisely for selfish and self-interest reasons. Please, do not do that. Uncomfortable as the issues may be, and that is what we said when you must recuse yourself, was to avoid exactly what you are doing. Uncomfortable as [the] issues may be, allow her to speak. We have spoken on these matters. You made a ruling. She has never spoken. And it is her opportunity to speak, allow her to speak, and say to her once she has spoken the matters have been resolved and this [is] how we are going to proceed. But we are not going to be seen as if we are now censoring her because she is raising issues that implicate you. That is an abuse of platform. Please, allow her to speak, and we will be done in no time. I know that you are concerned by the allegations of you soliciting a bribe. You are now in trouble.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Malema. Again, that is not a point of order, but I have allowed you to complete what you are saying. The PP is a subject of this Inquiry. She accounts to the National Assembly. When we make rulings they apply equally to this. Hon Mileham, is that a point of order?

Mr Mileham: Chair, I have been covered by your comment earlier that you have made a ruling on this matter. In fact, you have ruled twice on the matter now, and it is time to proceed with the rest of the correspondence and then the evidence itself. So I would argue or I would urge that we actually move on to other matters and not get bogged down on this particular aspect, which has been dealt with and ruled upon.

Chairperson: Thank you. I am back to you, PP. And I want to repeat the point, if there is any other issues you want to raise, please, raise. But on these issues that we have discussed and made a ruling on, I would urge and encourage you to prepare yourself to make such [a] presentation to the committee of parliament, where these matters have been. And I am sure the allegations having been lodged with the police, that is also another platform. This Inquiry is not that platform. The correspondence has been sent to all Members. It is unheard of that I must now allow somebody to read the letter to us here – we are not doing that. That is not a subject of what we are doing today. Please, proceed.

Ms Maotwe: Chair, my hand is up. Please, recognise me?

Chairperson: Yes, I recognise you.

Ms Maotwe: Yeah, Chair, you are unfair because when we were speaking earlier on, the hand of the PP was up, you never pointed at her when you were pointing at us, and that was before you made a ruling. So she never had an opportunity when we did to say whatever she was saying. And now she is saying it after you have made a ruling, which is not her problem, by the way, it is your problem, because you jumped into making a decision without hearing everybody, including the PP. Now [the] PP must still make her point because she never made her point. You can say that to me, because I made my point during my time, but she never did. This is the first opportunity that she is getting to speak on the issues that we were speaking about ourselves. So allow her to finish her points. It does not matter whether you made a ruling or not. It was premature your ruling, or your decision; it is clear now with PP given this evidence. So you should never have rushed to lock her out and make a decision, because now you must still go back to that decision that you made, which is now what the PP’s addressing. So allow her to finish her presentation. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Maotwe. Your order [is] not upheld. And I come back to you, again, PP. And I am asking you… I have given you an opportunity to speak on what I would have presented – and the legal advisor. I would want you to…

Mr Zungula: Chairperson, why are you so agitated when the PP is providing evidence?

Chairperson: Hon Zungula, I have not recognised you, and I am not going to repeat this. You do that again and you know what is going to happen. Public Protector, I am now coming back to you to raise whatever you have not raised so far. But please, do not repeat issues that I have made a ruling on.

Adv Mkhwebane: Chairperson, I think… But, Chairperson, that is an unfair process. Legally, that is so wrong. I think even your advisor should be telling you that and should not have allowed you to make a ruling without hearing my side of the story. But then, Chairperson, I have even attached the WhatsApp messages, which should be shared with Members of the Committee. And unfortunately, Chairperson, this is at the heart of this particular process. So my issue is, again, the issue of recusal, is before the SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal). Remember, the Western Cape has indicated that they have erred and then the matter is before the SCA. And this process was to request you…

Ms Maotwe: Chair? Chair, sorry to disturb. Chair? Chairperson? Mr Dyantyi?

Chairperson: Yes, Hon Maotwe?

Ms Maotwe: Yes. No, no, PP was talking about the WhatsApp messages. Can they be flighted on the screen, please, so that we can see them as she is speaking?

Chairperson: Sorry, we are not there. This Inquiry is not about that. I am not going to continue giving you a platform and you deal with frivolous points of orders, Hon Maotwe. Public Protector, please, I want you now to conclude your presentation.

Adv Mkhwebane: Okay, Chairperson. The issue of the one you are saying I must put in writing, it is in my letter; it is related to corruption, extortion of bribe. And in my conclusion, I think Steve Biko mentioned that black, you know… black people you are on your own. If you have got Members of Parliament just dealing with their own like this. And I mean, when you listen to the audio, you will hear what the MP, the late Tina, was trying to do. And what you have put in your letter indicated that you will be proceeding your hearing – it is exactly, the recording will prove that is what you were planning to do, and it's confirmed by the recording, which Ms Joemat is saying. So, unfortunately, if you are going to just be treating her like this when she was trying to also… I mean, I must indicate that, in other words, she was also trying to sensitise me that ‘This is the horrible process, which you are subjected to’, and I have said it several times. But, Chairperson, I do not have legal representation and I think my counsel must still be briefed; and the counsel will have to be available so that we can proceed. But as I indicated, I do not agree with you now reversing your decision because you have decided that we were proceeding with my evidence, and even the program will have to give my program and deal with all the issues, which you promised: the record is there. And this leaves me with no option that I will also have to tell my side of the story and engage members of the public [on] what I am subjected to; and to sit in front of the Chairperson, who is alleged to have been corrupt. So I think I will just end there. I cannot do the recusal application, because I do not have legal representation. Until that is done, I will not be able to meet the Friday deadline which you are giving me. I need to have legal representation so that I can do the application. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Public Protector. Colleagues. We are now going to take a 15 minute break, come back, and then we deal with the way forward. Thank you.

The Committee adjourned for a 15 minute tea break.

Chairperson: We are back from the tea break. Thank you very much. I will now want to take this time to just quickly indicate what is the next move: the way forward. I think as I do that, Members, I want us to stay true to our discussion and our meeting and our decision on Friday, as the Committee, in relation to how we want to take this process going forward. I have no intention that we would go parallel to that. Many of you, who were part of that meeting, would have indicated in our discussion that there is no need for us to repeat what we said in relation to our determination to resume this Inquiry. And so the first issues I want to raise, as I indicate this way forward, is that the Public Protector indicated, in her letter, an intention to do a recusal application of the Chairperson. As we meet, as things are, there is no recusal application. I have, through that ruling, kind of regulated that should she wish to do that, that she should go ahead beyond the intention. And I indicated the timelines of Friday, at 13:00, with a response on Monday, at 13:00. It is not an onus on me to then have to assist how that recusal application will be done. If there is no recusal application coming on Friday, at 13:00, whoever would have intended to do a recusal application would have elected not to do it – I am not even getting into issues of what support and so on. I regulated an intention, and therefore there is a space for that. If by Friday there is none, it will be like that. There is no obligation for us to have a recusal application if the person who intends doing it, would, by then, have elected not to do that. That is the first point I wanted to make. And secondly, given how fluid things and how, with the speed of how things happened since yesterday, and this morning, I am aware and I will make sure, as I have always done from February when it was pointed out to me that there is debt that was not paid, and I got out of my way, as the Chair, to the harsh criticism of the Committee, that I had no business to assist on issues of non-payment. And I have accepted that criticism. I live with it, because it was my view that I needed to do that in order to make sure that nothing impacts negatively, this Inquiry. And I will continue to do that, as even from today onwards, about the fact that we now know that the State Attorney has taken up that roll, given the unfortunate incident of hospitalised Chaane Attorneys (sic). And they have taken that particular decision, which we have nothing to do. It is not our role. But I am aware that there is going to be a process, today, to conclude on this issue of the briefing of senior counsel; how long that takes should not be a complicated and difficult process. And because of that, Hon Members, I would want, in staying true to our discussion on Friday – as a Committee – that instead of asking you that we resume tomorrow, that I am going to ask that we resume on Friday; based on the resolution we took; based on the letter that I would have sent to the PP, that when we resume, the subject of that assumption is to start with the attending to the first part, first two-part subject matters that we dealt with, the CR17/Bosasa, as well as the SARS matters; as discussed in the Committee; as indicated in my letter. That is what, when we resume, we are going to do. And, perhaps, tomorrow can give us that chance for whatever things must be sorted out in the briefing of the senior counsel, for that to be done. I was tempted to say let us resume tomorrow, but I am holding back to give that space, at least, an extra day. And we come back on Friday, at 10:00. We resume with the Inquiry; and when we resume, it is about starting with the Evidence Leaders in asking questions to the PP, that to be followed by the Members. This is where we… That is really the plan and attitude in moving forward. And as I have indicated, the moment we close this meeting, I am going to be hard at work to ensure that that briefing is done and is concluded. And so I do not see, and I hope, that there is not going to be any other new hurdle that gets to be there this afternoon and tomorrow, that will come on Friday ready to resume and proceed with the Inquiry. And so I do not want to repeat the things I have said. Anybody else who is aggrieved, there are platforms where they must attend and submit their grievances on any matter. So with that, colleagues, unless there is anything else, this is where I would like us to adjourn today's meeting. I see your hand…

Adv Mkhwebane: Chairperson?

Chairperson: I see the hand of Hon Holomisa and Hon Sukers. I will come back to you, PP.

Mr Holomisa: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much, Chairperson and the Committee Members. Whilst we are waiting for the meeting on Friday can the Committee Secretariat, or yourself, write a letter to the Speaker and possibly paint a picture of what took place this morning regarding the issue of the attempt to extort the husband of the Public Protector. And by doing so, you should request her, the Speaker, to ask the police as to whether there is any such substance to what has been reported in the police, so that we remove this dark cloud hanging over this Committee. We are not talking about recusal. But we have a right to be informed. There have been a lot of serious allegations. All what we want to know now is somebody must verify the authenticity or otherwise of these allegations. Otherwise, some of us are going to have very difficulty in proceedings where the Chairperson is being associated, allegedly, with those nefarious things. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Holomisa. Hon Sukers?

Ms Sukers: Yeah, Chair. Thank you, Chair. I appreciate and welcome your ruling. Chair, mine is to just bring a matter up that was briefly touched on by Hon Nkosi, on the issue of security, especially of Members of this Committee. We have had several times subtle, not so subtle at times, things being said. And I think, Chair, that we need to look at the digital security, and even physical, of Members of this Committee. And so I want to bring that out and on the record here, Chair, in support of what was mentioned by Hon Nkosi: that it is a matter that is to be looked at. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Sukers. Hon Zungula?

Mr Zungula: Chair, in the next meeting, can we kindly, perhaps, discuss this issue of the extortion, at length? The PP did state that she is uncomfortable to sit before you, or to be presided in this process by you, whereas there are these serious allegations. Just as the General (Hon Holomisa) just said about this dark cloud… So can we, as the Committee, thoroughly discuss  – have all of the WhatsApp conversations being flighted and discussed, including the audio recordings being broadcast so that each and every Member of the Committee is aware of what is alleged, so that when we move on, Chairperson, we do not move on in this process, you know, not being certain whether the Chairperson is innocent or guilty. Because currently, Chairperson, there are serious allegations, and if we do not properly process those allegations from our side, as a Committee, as to what shall we do… We are not saying there must be [an] investigation by the police, or we must do the work of the ethics committee. But we need to have all of the evidence before us, all of the allegations before us, then in our context or perspective, as a Committee, we make a determination; that determination, does not seek to undermine the work that would be done by the other agencies, but it is something that will assist the Committee to say, as the Committee was made aware of these allegations, we did not just ignore as if they are not serious, we do not just ignore as if they do not have a bearing on the work of this Committee. So that is the proposal: in the next Committee let us discuss… We want those WhatsApp conversations flighted. We want that voice recording to also to be played so that the Committee hears everything; the Evidence Leaders legal representation of the PP, including the entire public that has been following these processes to know what is alleged about the Chairperson. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Zungula. Hon Siwela?

Ms V Siwela (ANC) Thank you, Chairperson. I am supporting you ruling, Chair, and also supporting Mr Nkosi. I believe we need to move as a Committee, because we have decided that we are going to deal with the two aspects. Those other issues, Chair, I believe there are institutions or sectors which can deal with them; we are not police ourselves, and we are not the judiciary. And the Speaker, in terms of the rules, she knows exactly how to deal with issues. So I think, to be progressive, let us proceed with what we have planned as the Committee. Those other issues will come if they are there, but they must not jeopardise the work of this Committee: we want to conclude. Also to second the latter speaker on the issue of threats. There [are] a lot of things which some of us, we are being named, that we are not doing well in this Committee. So if one will want to zoom into rumours, we will delay this process. So the issue of security is critical for all Members, but to lose focus, and involve ourselves to other issues, I do not think that we will be doing justice in front of [the] public. So let us resume on Friday and we proceed; those other issues will unfold while we are on our way. Thank you, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Siwela. Hon Maotwe?

Ms Maotwe: Thank you, Chair. Chair, mine is, one, is that the PP did say that she will not be able to meet your Friday deadline because she does not have a legal representative. And I do not know what informs your Friday deadline. I mean, why would you want to give it? The person says I want to bring an application, what informs your deadline of Friday? And even after she has told you that her legal representative is lying in hospital, fighting for his life, you still ignore that. What kind of a human being does that? You still ignore the fact that a person is fighting for his life. There is no normal person who will go to the hospital to allege that he is sick, when he is not sick, to fake sickness [and] to be in hospital in this cold weather – no one. The person is sick. The PP does not have a legal rep because the person is sick. There is a sick note attached to that. You are not a doctor to challenge another doctor's medical certificate. So clearly she wants me the Friday deadline. Number three, Chair, is that you, you are saying that it is not your duty to assist the PP. I do not think there is any request for assistance from your side on the side of PP. PP is just telling you that it is not practical. And you say you want to continue on Friday. How are you going to continue on Friday, Chairperson, really. Without the PP having a legal rep? You see, you are taking us back, now, again. She does not have a legal rep, he is lying in hospital. You are ignoring that. How is that going to happen? Just explain to us. Your decision is irrational, Chairperson. And you get so agitated when we raise these matters. I raised a matter earlier that the PP is telling us about the WhatsApp messages, can they be flighted? No. Your temper just went up – skyrocketed – because you do not want the evidence that points to you that there are WhatsApp messages. Now, there is also (sic) recordings. We want to hear those recordings. They must come here, Chairperson. It is about you. You brought them and they are talking about this Committee, those WhatsApp messages and those recordings. They are not talking about any other thing except this Committee, that you are chairing. And yourself, you, are involved. So please, in the next meeting before anything, any evidence of anything from the PP, we want to hear those recordings. We want to see those WhatsApp messages, and then we can move from there. But we still feel strongly that you must recuse yourself. You failed to recuse yourself. We are appealing to you, before Friday, that just write the letter, Sir, and say ‘I am done. Let me leave it to other people to continue with this honourable Committee of Parliament. Please, we are Hon Members here. And if anything taints the name ‘honourable’, you should be very worried as an Hon Member, which you are not. So please, Sir, just recuse yourself. We want to continue with this Committee peacefully [and] without any fight. I thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Maotwe. Hon Mileham?

Mr Mileham: Chairperson, I am concerned at the spurious attempts to derail this Committee by introducing things that are outside our scope and mandate. I am concerned that Members of this Committee are now trying to adjudicate matters over which we have absolutely no authority. I am concerned that this is yet another delaying tactic intended to run out time for this Committee. And we are not dealing with the substantive issues which the Public Protector needs to provide evidence on. So I want to urge that we set aside all the irrelevant and extraneous issues, and that we focus directly on the evidence of the Public Protector: that we deal with the issues that we are mandated to address, and that all the other issues be dealt with by the relevant forums, whether that is the SAPS (South African Police Services), whether that is the ethics committee or the Speaker of Parliament, or whoever it is; it is certainly not this Committee. So I want to stress that what Hon Maotwe or Hon Zungula and Hon Malema and Hon Holomisa are putting on the table is actually not the work that we are supposed to be doing. And until we are instructed otherwise, by the National Assembly, we need to deal with the evidence of the Public Protector and the cases and the charges that have been put within our scope of work. And anything else is merely delaying and running out the time, running out the clock on this hearing. We cannot afford that. So regardless of what has happened, we have now afforded the Public Protector multiple weeks to secure legal representation. I see now that the Solicitor-General has stepped into fill the gap. And I think – I am not sure if it is the Solicitor-General or the State Attorney. I am sorry. I get confused there. But either way, that they are filling in the gap and prepared to assist. The Public Protector has had every opportunity to secure legal representation – Adv Mpofu is still her counsel of choice. We need to proceed, Chair. We cannot twiddle our thumbs and hope something is going to improve. So I really think that, as a Committee, we need to be firm and say on Friday when we resume, we will be listening to the evidence of the Public Protector. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Mileham. Hon Malema?

Mr Malema: Thank you very much, Chair. You see the problem of white supremacy is that it is very insensitive, especially when it comes to black life. That is why even when you are told that a person is fighting for his life, in hospital, you will speak the way some people just speak here, that no, Friday we must continue as if nothing is happening. The point has been made that the Public Protector’s lawyer is fighting for his life, and Public Protector will not be able to proceed in the absence of legal representatives. That is number one. So we have to be alive to that reality. So even when we prepare for Friday, we should be able to make a room for that reality. Secondly, you must not say that we are part of trying to postpone or delay this thing. I am not part of any postponing of anything. I was not there when you went to a corner to solicit a bribe. I would not have anticipated that some amongst us would have gone to ask for bribes. So, when we come to this Committee, now that the matter is here, which was not brought by us, this matter arises out of those who suffer from [an] uncontrollable desire for money. They went and tried to solicit bribes. And this matter is in the public and this matter is in the public interest. You say ‘we’ want to delay, you even mention our names – that we want to delay this proceedings, as if we are the ones, firstly, who took this matter in public, as if we are the ones who went to seek a bribe. It cannot be correct that when we are sitting in this Committee, they are serious allegations that affect the integrity and the work of this Committee, and we say that we must not discuss. This morning you said that, no, there is nothing that was put forward by this Committee to be discussed. Hon Zungula makes a fair proposal: can we please, as we meet, next week, discuss this matter. We are not going to investigate. You see, the problem with Parliament is that it will make you sit in [a] Committee and come across some low minded members of society. These are the types of things we are being subjected to here. We are not talking about police, we are talking about a discussion about matters that affect the image, the integrity and the running of this Committee. Not necessarily that evidence must be led. But because we have got some members of society who emerged through factionalism and find themselves sitting at this level, we have to engage with the lowest brains, which tell us ‘Hey, we are not police. We are not this…’ We are not talking about that. We are talking about us, as Members, how do we go about the business of this Committee if there are these serious allegations? Not that there must be leading of evidence, there must be this… No. These are the issues that are in the public domain. It is about our Members. The chairperson is implicated. Can we discuss these issues and chart a collective way forward? That is not an investigation. It has nothing to do with the police. It has nothing to do with relevant committees that investigate misconduct; it has got everything to do with the integrity, the image and the work of our Committee. How do we make sure that we are not compromised, as we continue to participate in this Committee. It is about us. And we cannot be denied that opportunity, in all fairness, to discuss ourselves, because we are sitting amongst us here with people who are alleged to have solicited a bribe. And the last point, Chair, I want to make, that there are certain people here who speak about security; they can never be threatened by anyone. There is no one. Nkosi, that is why history sometimes comes to prove the other things that did not happen in the past correct, that this could have been a terrible accident of history. They say there is a threat and all of that – they do not lead evidence. There is nothing substantive to support such. And even those who come to support such, that there should be protection and security. Such people cannot be threatened by anything, not even chicken that they have in their own fridges can threaten them. They have got nothing in their lives that can constitute a threat. Who would want to go into [the] phones of such people – to do what? So there is no any evidence of any threat, none whatsoever, and therefore cannot be entertaining imaginary things here. I do not need any protection. I have got no threat on my personal phone. Even if there was, there is nothing in my phone that I am worried about. There is nothing in my phone that I am worried about, which is not… which, if exposed to the public, will embarrass me. Only those who keep wrong things in their phones will be obsessed with the security of their phones because they know that they do things at night, which they do not want those things to be repeated during the day. I have never, for a single day, experienced any threat to my phone, any threat to my participation in this Committee, because I am not engaged in any crooked means. So therefore, Chair, there is no need to even entertain any requirement of security here, which is not substantiated by anyone. A person just says ‘Yeah, our phone. Yeah, our security.’ Their night work is following them and they want to involve us in their messy things that they are doing at night, and they are likely to be exposed during the day. Now they want everybody, including Parliament, to spend money on their crooked things. We need no security here. All we need is honest Members of Parliament who live an honest and honourable life and have got nothing to hide, even in their private phones. We have nothing to hide in our phones, because we do not go around asking money to get people to have a fair trial. So, Chair, please be alive to what is potentially going to happen on Friday by the Public Protector, who is entitled to her public legal representatives. And we want this matter, a very serious matter that affect[s] the integrity, the image and operation of this Committee, to be on the table. It is well within our right, as Members of this Committee, to propose items that can be discussed, in the best interests of this Committee and in the public interest. Thank you very much.

Chairperson: Thank you. Hon Maneli?

Mr Maneli: Thank you, Hon Chair. I take the opportunity, Chair, firstly, to agree with the ruling that you have made. And this ruling is informed, at least, by a discussion that the Committee had last week as a starting point. But just to give evidence that when we attend the meetings, Chair, we do listen to the proceedings. And we make inputs on the basis of those proceedings. Today, Chair, in the proceedings of this meeting, we have been presented with correspondence, which includes the fact that there has been termination of services of the attorneys referred to, hence the Solicitor-General would have come in. And the break you are asking for is the fact that there may have not been the briefing that has been concluded with senior counsel of the PP’s choice; and you are giving that space. And I think that is fair to do so because the PP, herself, said, as far as she is concerned, there has never been any briefing, whatsoever, even with the attorneys that would have had a person landing in hospital. So I am saying, Chair, that we should agree with that, because that is, at least, information presented in the proceedings of today. And therefore, any referral to the attorneys, that they will have people in the hospital and that would mean that we would have not looked at what is presented before us, that that service has been terminated. And on a similar basis, this Committee, before, Hon Chair, had an understanding that this is a continuation matter, and therefore, Seanego would proceed. And we are reminded of a letter written by the PPSA, which terminated Seanego, and there you would start a process anew. We would not have engaged these other lawyers. So we should respect all those, that we are where we are because in some instances there have been termination of service. So with that having being (sic) said, Chair, let me then get to the next point. We have a programme that we have adopted, and we said that these are matters that must be dealt with. And this has not been done by you, as the Chairperson. It is a programme adopted by the Committee in Committee meeting, for those who attended. And, of course, if we continue in that way, it means we must respect the decisions that we make, ourselves, as the Committee. And it is us who review those decisions, but at this point there has not been reviewal of the decision by the Committee – to bring matters that are not in the programme that we have agreed upon. Chair, I want to leave this point by reminding you, again, when we said proceed, that so far the conditions under which we had a discussion on Friday on these allegations, nothing has changed; that it is hearsay that we have in the media, and there is no recusal application that stated, in detail, why you are implicated as a person, not what they hear you to be implicated. And, of course, Chair, I still plead with Members, who seem to be having some evidence that they do not have, that at least they must help the investigation by presenting the evidence that they have, so that we do not say things we do not mean and ask others now to do things that you yourself, you do not do, on relying on allegations that are untested, when there are structures that can test those with capacity that is necessary. So I am saying, Chair, other than protecting anybody, it is also about us doing things the right way, because there can be allegations, tomorrow, about any of the Members, in fact, all of the Members, if we are drawing the Committee into this as a whole. And therefore, it means that we must go back to Parliament and say ‘On the basis of allegations that have not been tested, dissolve the Committee and create a new one because they are tainted.’ No, Chair, I do not think we should agree to that. And that is why if there are those that may be implicated, in one way or the other, test those, and once there is evidence to show, surely, under normal circumstances we would not want the Committee to be associated with wrongdoing because that has never been the intention to be in the Committee. We have committed ourselves to be independent people who look at matters that are before us and look at facts, for that matter, that are before us so that our recommendations later on must really be informed by things that can also be tested that any reasonable person could have come to that conclusion, given evidence that has been presented before them. I am really pleading, Chair, that we give that chance, so that senior counsel is informed of these changes that may have happened, as well as get briefed on how to proceed going forward, in line with the programme. I do not think we should review before we even see anything that happens out of that. I submit, Chair. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Maneli. Hon Xola Nqola? Xola Nqola? In the meantime…

Mr Nqola: Chair? Apologies, I was muted.

Chairperson: Yes.

Mr Nqola: I am rising to support your ruling. Thank you very much.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Nqola. Hon Zandile Majozi?

Ms Majozi: Thank you, Chairperson. Firstly, let me welcome your remarks and your ruling in terms of what will happen on Friday, and it is accepted. And to say that, Chairperson, for us as Hon Members in this Committee, that on Friday, other Members are saying we must flight WhatsApp messages and recordings so that we are able to discuss that. At the same time, the legal team of the Public Protector, as much as the information is shared now that there is someone that is ill. And she would not mind coming to the Committee and presenting that without her legal team. But when there are other proceedings, it becomes a problem. Also to say that, Chairperson, there are due processes that are followed in every institution, and there is a correct platform where the evidence will be shared. I still say, Chairperson, if the evidence comes to this Committee to say the Chairperson, yes, is found implicated in one, two, three, four, five, we will have a consensus decision that we will take as this Committee. But for now, we cannot deal with such allegations while the Public Protector is telling us that they have presented the evidence – so we must wait for the outcome. And then if it comes to us, we deal with that at that moment. But for now, we must continue with the programme that we have adopted on Friday. Chairperson, lastly, I want us to bring our humanity and understanding and not mention the name of the late Hon Pettersson, because we are not dealing with her or with whatever allegations are put. But here we are mandated to do one thing only and that is what we are going to do. And of the programme that we have adopted on Friday, that is what we are going to do. I accept your ruling, Chairperson. Let us continue with that and not… let us refrain from losing the decorum of this Inquiry. Thanks, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Majozi. Hon Denner?

Ms H Denner (FF+): Thank you, Hon Chair. Chairperson, I said it last week, as well, we have bent over backwards to be procedurally fair in this process towards the Public Protector. There are mechanisms at her disposal if she is not satisfied with the process, and if she is not satisfied with the findings. So I agree that we should move forward. And Chair, I just want to make a comment in passing. Just as there is a duty on this Committee to act in a procedurally fair manner, as we have been doing, there is also a duty on legal representatives who accept instructions, especially instructions such as these, which are extremely high profile, time bound and sensitive, to do what they have to do to in order to stick to timelines and ensure that their client is properly represented. So it is just a comment in passing. I am not sure if the entire legal team is in the hospital. But I am sure that there is someone that can assist the Public Protector – but that is just a comment in passing. I am just saying that, it is not for the record. So I agree we should move forward and we should continue with the mandate that was given to us. Thank you, Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Denner. The last one is Hon Dlakude.

Ms D Dlakude (ANC): Thank you very much, Hon Chairperson. Good afternoon to you, my colleagues, Evidence Leaders and everyone who is on the platform. Hon Chairperson, my apologies for coming at this time. We have visited the family of the late comrade Tina Joemat-Pettersson, and the family is really hurting, as we are hurting as well, because she was one of us – a Member of this Committee. So I will request that as Members of Parliament, let us stick to our mandate. Let us refrain from bringing allegations that are not part of our programme, to this meeting. Also I agree fully with Hon Majozi, that as human beings, let us be sensitive to what has happened. The family, the children of the late are hurting. So I think we should refrain from that. As Parliament we have processes on how to deal with matters. Let us allow those processes to unfold, so anyone who has anything to take whatever, they have the relevant processes. As this Committee, Hon Chairperson, I want to say that we had a meeting last week. We adopted a programme and a way forward for us as to how to move forward. I think one of what we agreed upon is that we need to conclude the two matters that evidence has been led in this Committee. I think that is where we are. Indeed we wish the person who is in hospital a speedy recovery, but we have a responsibility as this Committee to conclude our work. This is not the only committee in Parliament that we are serving in, so we really need to conclude the work. We appreciate that if, like you have ruled, the new legal team of the Public Protector and the SC (senior counsel), have not been briefed. We agree with you for that opportunity to be briefed, but the work of the Committee must proceed so that we finish what we have started. Evidence has been led on the two matters. Let us conclude those and then move forward. Thank you very much, Hon Chair.

Chairperson: Thank you, Hon Dlakude. I now give the opportunity, before I summarise, to the Public Protector.

Adv Mkhwebane: Chairperson, I need to clarify that paragraph 26 of my letter, again, if it was read – I will not read paragraph 25 because it is still repeating Hon, the late, Joemat-Pettersson. 26 says: “Failing the above, I intend to instruct my attorneys…” – in fact, the last sentence at paragraph 25, it says “In such circumstances, you should voluntarily recuse yourself.” Then I said 26 “failing, which I intend to instruct my attorneys to move an application for your recusal. Your statement that no address will be permitted is therefore inappropriate, to say the least.” So I was going to instruct the attorneys, which attorneys, I think for the other Members, which has been clarified that the attorney has been abruptly withdrawn or their services terminated by the State Attorney without even telling me because I also heard it when I came here. And the CEO did not discuss with me, or even the Solicitor-General. That is one of the critical issues. And secondly, Chairperson, the attorney will be the one, actually, the judgment is very clear: full legal representation of my choice. So that issue, I do not know, we will have to discuss and I will have to be involved and consulted why [the] State Attorney just terminated the services of the attorney. And unfortunately, one does not call or does not invite to be sick and just go to the hospital. I mean, the attorney was admitted on the 5th. And unfortunately, no one has control over it. And another thing Hon Dlakude, unfortunately, what you are saying you discussed on Friday, you came to the conclusion, as a Committee, you have the right to do that. And unfortunately for you is that that is what, the late Hon Joemat said, that the Committee is planning to do that, they have appointed a project manager. But those recordings are there. And indeed, you are doing exactly what she said. May her soul rest in peace. And unfortunately, for you, is that the way she was treating this matter, it was because she was very concerned. And hence I am saying, unfortunately, the way she has been treated as well. It is so unfortunate that people are discussing like this as if a person has died after that decision, which you have taken on Friday. Thank you.

Chairperson: Thank you.

Adv Mkhwebane: And the Friday issue, Chairperson, unfortunately, I do not have an attorney to prepare that and I think it is clear in my letter; it is recorded that I will instruct an attorney because I wanted to hear from you whether you are refusing to recuse yourself, and I take it that you are refusing to recuse yourself voluntarily, Chairperson.

Chairperson: Thank you. Thank you to your colleagues. I think having listened to all of you and having indicated before the summary that I made, the ruling stands that we are going to convene on Friday at 10:00 and proceed with the resumption of the Inquiry, as designed by the Committee last Friday. I have indicated that if there is any planned recusal application that anybody wishes to have, that we would welcome that to be submitted by Friday, in writing. And I repeat, we will respond to it by Monday, 13:00. I think the matters have been very clear, in the letters, about the fact that as we meet here and as we are going to meet on Friday, the unfortunate situation of the attorneys being hospitalised has been taken up by the State Attorney, who has taken over: there should be no confusion there. And we have received, properly so, a certificate that indicates he is hospitalised until further notice, without going to any details in that regard. And so the role of the State Attorney is really assisting your sentiments, the discussion we had on Friday, to ensure that we no longer get into stops in this process; we proceed with our work in that regard. I have taken note of all of the issues that all of you have commented on. But Friday's business is the resumption of the Inquiry. Both Friday's meeting and as of today, Members are very clear: our focus is on the mandate of this Inquiry, and nothing else. And therefore, that is how we are going to proceed from Friday. With that, thank you very much. The meeting is adjourned until Friday at 10:00.


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