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First witness begins testimony in defence of Mkhwebane at impeachment inquiry

The founder and chairperson of the SA Roadies Association, Freddie Nyathela, told the parliamentary inquiry that Mkhwebane was the only Public Protector who personally met with him and prioritised his case.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on 22 July 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The first witness to testify in Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s defence said that her appointment was a game changer for vulnerable South Africans.

She helped him resolve a dispute with the Department of Arts and Culture, which had dragged on for more than a decade.

The founder and chairperson of the SA Roadies Association, Freddie Nyathela, told the parliamentary inquiry that Mkhwebane was the only Public Protector who personally met with him and prioritised his case.

Nyathela said that he first approached the Public Protector’s office under Lawrence Mushwana.

The matter remained unresolved during the tenure of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela too.

“The department was treated with kid gloves at our expense, and this matter dragged on and on without any closure until Advocate Madonsela left.”

Nyathela said that he was surprised to hear testimony from a previous witness, an executive in the Public Protector’s office, Ponatshego Mogaladi, that he liked to complain about investigators.

“Is there anybody who likes to complain? No. We go to the Public Protector to complain because we have evidence.”

Nyathela’s testimony will continue on Wednesday.

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