Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane appeared on Afro Worldview (formerly ANN7) on Wednesday, where she attempted to explain her no-show in Parliament earlier in the day.
Mkhwebane was scheduled to appear in front of the justice and correctional services portfolio committee. Her last-minute cancellation because of a “family emergency” was a source of anger and condemnation among MPs.
The public protector confronted the issue on Afro Worldview, saying she was “surprised” by the portfolio committee’s announcement that she has failed to attend an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.
Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga announced to the committee that he had received a letter from Mkhwebane on Tuesday, informing the committee of her inability to attend because of “a family emergency which she couldn’t rearrange”.
But Mkhwebane said she did not snub the committee. “I am still trying to find a way to work closely with [them],” she said.
Twitter, however, does not seem to be letting the public protector off the hook so easily, suggesting if Mkhwebane could make a plan to attend the television interview last night, she could have made a plan to make it to parliament.
— XOLANI NGWEKAZI (@XolaniNgwekazi_) June 6, 2018
Lies lies lies this Mkhwebane has time to do interviews with AfroWorldView
— Bulumko (@bhlabl) June 6, 2018
Offcause the Gupta channel. Who nominated Ms Mkhwebane as a candidate for PP and why?
— G G jabulani (@GGJabulani1) June 6, 2018
Mkhwebane also issued a statement in which her spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, said: “Despite the short notice‚ Mkhwebane had planned to attend the committee’s meeting and travel arrangements to that effect ensued.”
“However‚ due to the unforeseen family emergency she was forced to make a late cancellation of her intended attendance and rendered an apology to the committee. This apology was dispatched on Tuesday afternoon. Adv Mkhwebane wishes to indicate that this was the first occasion she missed the attendance of the committee meetings‚” Segalwe continued.
MPs reacted with outrage to Mkhwebane’s no-show, with phrases such as “committee strongly condemns” and “disappointed by the conduct” uttered by Motshekga and the DA’s Glynnis Breytenbach, among others MPs.