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By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

Mkhwebane impeachment: MPs concerned Mpofu’s withdrawal a delaying tactic

Advocate Dali Mpofu delivers his second masterclass in delaying legal proceedings weeks after Zuma's postponement.

Suspended Public Protector Busiswe Mkhwebane has told the Section 194 Committee overseeing her impeachment hearing that she did not give Advocate Dali Mpofu a mandate to withdraw his council.

This comes after Mpofu abruptly withdrew his services after a postponement application was rejected by committee chair Qubudile Dyantyi on Thursday.

The committee resumed on Friday to discuss a way forward.

Mkhwebane has since asked for time and space to consult her legal team next week to determine how to proceed while making it clear that she would not proceed without legal representation.

Mkhwebane said she would only change legal teams as the last resort.

Parliament’s legal advisor Fatima Ebrahim noted that while Mkhwebane hadn’t given Mpofu instruction to withdraw, she said the suspended public protector needs to clarify why they were stripped of their mandate without her knowledge.

Ebrahim took it a step further when she argued that Mpofu’s withdrawal could have been engineered to force a postponement to delay proceedings because of the need for legal representation.

She also argued that dismissals of the recusal application and adjournment applications are not sufficient reasons for Mkhwebane’s legal team to withdraw their counsel because Mpofu did not explain where he got the instruction to drop the case.

ALSO READ: Mkhwebane impeachment: Section 194 inquiry chair ‘avoided laying complaint against Mpofu after threats’

MPs also expressed concern that Mkhwebane’s legal team’s alleged wildcat move to act without instruction was a tactic aimed at delaying impeachment hearings until Mkhwebane’s term in office is over.

So far Mkhwebane has tried and failed to get the committee’s chair Dyantyi and the DA MP Kevin Mileham to recuse themselves, following which she indicated she would be challenging those dismissals in court.

Proceedings will continue on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa

NOW READ: WATCH: Dali Mpofu puts on a masterclass in disrespect at Mkhwebane inquiry