The national spokesperson of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi on Tuesday, took aim at Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for disdaining MPs.
Ndlozi’s criticism follows Busisiwe’s refusal to appear before a parliamentary special committee established to investigate the fitness of the SABC board to hold office.
Prior to Busisiwe’s dramatic U-turn, it was earlier announced that she, together with Madonsela and 28 other witnesses would be testifying before the committee.
Ditching the MPs, the Public Protector insisted that she will not make it to Parliament because there was only one board member remaining.
In addition, she reportedly maintained that it was her prerogative to accept or turn down the invitation and that three staff members could speak on her behalf, provided it was ‘on camera’.
In reply, EFF’s Ndlozi insisted that the Public Protector has no right to turn down the invitation because it was Parliament that hired her. The fighter expressed deep worry about Mkhwebane’s disrespectful reply.
“We must take exception with how the new public protector is addressing us. A lot of people we hire here in parliament, but they don’t want us to hold them accountable. They think someone else outside of parliament may be the one.
The new public protector must be told that this is the institution that, constitutionally, she reports to. Her insistence that the committee’s work was irrelevant due to the fact that only one board member remained was worrying,” he said.
SABC board parliamentary special committee was inaugurated after the only remaining board member of the public broadcaster, chairperson Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe filed an application to interdict an inquiry into the board’s fitness.
Committee chairperson Vincent Smith announced on Tuesday that six witnesses from its list of approximately 30 witnesses had indicated they would not be able to give testify during the two weeks set for hearings.
Among them is former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Reports have it that Thuli would be outside the country during the hearing dates.
The committee has until December 15 to prepare a report and present it to the National Assembly.