Mkhwebane seeks DA apology over spy claim

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Mkhwebane seeks DA apology over spy claim

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has taken the DA to court, demanding the party, along with two of its MPs, apologise and retract claims made in September 2017 that she had been a spy, says a Cape Argus report. In the Western Cape High Court yesterday, Mkhwebane, represented by Advocate Moss Mphaga, argued that the DA, along with their MPs Glynnis Breytenbach and Werner Horn, published false and defamatory statements when they claimed she was a State Security Agency (SSA) spy and that her appointment as Public Protector would perpetuate state capture of the Chapter Nine institution. Mkhwebane also stated she was not on the payroll of the SSA during her time as director of Refugee Affairs for the Department of Home Affairs in China. Judge Taswell Papier reserved judgment after listening to both parties deliberate the interlocutory application filed by the DA and the two MPs. In his submission, Mphaga argued the DA’s legal team did not make an effort to obtain the documents relating to their allegations. Mphaga said his instructions from his client were that the application could proceed without the requested documents being produced as the application was based primarily on the publication of ‘false and defamatory statements’ made against Mkhwebane. ‘They have obtained documents from the SABC and Parliament so why can’t they follow the same process to get the documents from the SSA? It is the DA and its MPs who made the statements and they have to provide the necessary evidence justifying the publications of these statements,’ said Mphaga.

The DA’s legal team insisted that the documents requested remain in disputeand relate to Mkhwebane’s application for the post of Analyst: Domestic Branch in the SSA, the confirmation of her acceptance of the offer and that these documents must be surely in her possession. According to the Cape Argusreport, Advocate Janice Bleachard argued that these documents are evidence of the nature of the work and functions that Mkhwebane performed for the SSA while she was admittedly in its employ after she returned from Beijing and as such is relevant to their application. ‘We’ve got to produce admissible evidence and we might have people who might not want to give evidence. The fact is we believe it is true and would appreciate if the court grants an order to obtain the document.’

Full Cape Argus report (subscription needed)
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