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ConCourt Justices Concerned About Mkhwebane Being Denied Legal Representation

Constitutional Court justices have raised concerns about Parliament denying Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane legal representation during her parliamentary impeachment process.

Parliament is appealing directly to the apex court regarding an earlier High Court decision that ruled in favour of Mkhwebane in relation to her right to have legal representation in the parliamentary impeachment process.

Mkhwebane has argued that denying her legal representation is denying her the right to a fair process.

She was not allowed legal representation during the preliminary probe headed by a judge, which found that there was prima facie evidence to go ahead with an impeachment inquiry.

The apex court also heard whether the appointment of the judge to an independent panel is compliant with the separation of powers doctrine.

Justice Steven Majiedt said his main concern was the fact that Mkhwebane was not allowed legal representation.

Justice Zukisa Tshiqi shared the same sentiments, saying issues of concern may need a legal mind.

Advocate Andrew Breitenbach, representing Parliament, said Mkhwebane must be able to engage directly with the National Assembly on what was being factually alleged.

He said a Chapter Nine office-bearer must be able to address matters from their own personal knowledge.