The Pretoria High Court yesterday ordered Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to postpone her planned hearings into horse racing which were scheduled to start on Tuesday 4 September 2018.
This followed after Phumelela applied for an urgent interdict to postpone the hearings in order to ensure the company’s right to a fair process.
In an earlier statement, Phumelela reiterated that it had not applied for the hearings to be interdicted or cancelled, contrary to erroneous news report in this regard, notably by Sporting Post.
“Phumelela does not wish to impede or obstruct the hearings. It merely seeks to ensure that its right to a fair process is protected, and that it is afforded an opportunity to participate in the hearings in the interest of a conclusive out-come,” read the earlier statement by Phumelela.
“Should the hearings be properly convened, with adequate notice and a fair opportunity for all affected parties to participate therein, Phumelela is certain that the Public Protector will be in a position to make a well-informed final decision in respect of her investigation.”
Although the Public Protector alluded to the planned public hearings in April this year, no further information was forthcoming – until a media statement was issued on Wednesday last week announcing that the hearings would start today with Mkhwebane hearing evidence from the complainants.
This was, however, never communicated to Phumelela.
Phumelela only became aware of the planned hearings through the press.
“Phumelela welcomes the investigation and wishes to participate in any public hearing stemming from the investigation. Phumelela is determined to cooperate fully to ensure that the investigation is concluded as swiftly as possible.”
The Pubic Protector’s investigation into the corporatisation of the racing industry in the late 1990s stems from a complaint lodged by Ms. Phindi Kema in 2012.
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