Muntu Sithole said he believed the court was biased against Mkhwebane in the legal challenge to the Vrede Dairy Farm report.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Photo: @PublicProtector/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – The head of legal services at the Office of the Public Protector has come to the defense of Busisiwe Mkhwebane in her impeachment inquiry before Parliament.

Muntu Sithole said he believed the court was biased against Mkhwebane in the legal challenge to the Vrede Dairy Farm report.

Sithole told the inquiry on Friday that he believed Mkhwebane was being unfairly blamed in circumstances where she was not the person responsible.

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He acknowledged that the Office of the Public Protector had erred in failing to provide the court with a full documentary record, but said the blame should not be placed squarely on Mkhweban.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say that PP should have done that. We had to do it as an investigative team.”

Sithole said he joined the agency at the end of the Vrede Dairy Farm investigation, six months before the court report was filed.

“If anyone has to take responsibility for this, it’s me, the investigative team and the legal services, because for me we had to make sure that we included even the things that go back to Madonsela’s time as a lawyer.”

Sithole believed the court was also unfairly criticizing the public defender for hiring two defense attorneys.

He said this was necessary to adequately respond to two different complainants.

His testimony continued.

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