South Africa


Dali Mpofu rejects Section 194 committee’s decision, says Cyril Ramaphosa must be called

Dali Mpofu rejects Section 194 committee’s decision, says Cyril Ramaphosa must be called
Advocate Dali Mpofu.Photo:Kgothatso Mokoena|Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)|President Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo by Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw)

Advocate Dali Mpofu told the parliamentary committee that it had ‘misunderstood’ or had been ‘confused’ by his client Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s request to call Cyril Ramaphosa.

Back at the coalface of lawfare defending suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Advocate Dali Mpofu informed Section 194 inquiry committee members on Wednesday, in not so many words, that they alone did not call the shots.

This is not unexpected. In Mpofu’s world, the courts do not either, as he has argued relentlessly that legal judgments are fluid or mere “opinions” during this historic hearing into his client’s fitness to hold office. 

Legions of aspirant student lawyers and advocates watching Mpofu’s performance daily on various platforms might find themselves somewhat confused, but not so the “people’s advocate” who is deft at weaving his way in, around, through and out of statutory law like a committed knitter of a multicoloured silly jumper.

He told those gathered that, just as the committee had resolved not to call President Cyril Ramaphosa, so Mkhwebane had a right to her witness – Ramaphosa being the biggest fish the suspended PP hopes to reel in.

On Tuesday, after considering various opinions from Parliament’s legal services, the committee rejected Mkhwebane’s request for Ramaphosa to testify.


“We are simply here to indicate that we do not accept the majority decision of the committee,” Mpofu pronounced on Wednesday at the parliamentary impeachment inquiry.

In this instance, the personal turned out not to be political as Mpofu explained that the committee had “misunderstood” or had been “confused” that Mkhwebane was not calling Ramaphosa as the democratically elected President of the Republic of South Africa, but as an ordinary citizen.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Section 194 committee rejects Mkhwebane’s bid to grill Ramaphosa

That the two are virtually neighbours – Mkhwebane has lived rent- and expense-free in the luxury Bryntirion ministerial estate in Pretoria right next door to Ramaphosa – doesn’t count. 

On Wednesday, Mpofu argued: “Viewed from the perspective of the Public Protector, he [Ramaphosa] has refused to come.”

Mpofu complained to the committee that Mkhwebane had only been informed of the decision to reject her request on Wednesday (although live proceedings were broadcast widely on Tuesday) and had “to first hear about it in the media”.

He called for another opportunity to argue issues of a “lack of clarity around the suspension issue”.

In his now trademark legal sleight of hand, Mpofu also told the committee that its majority decision had gone “against” the opinion of Parliament’s legal services. This is not the case. Legal services set out the legal options available and their implications. The committee voted.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Mkhwebane ignored Treasury red flags, #Guptaleaks evidence verifying Vrede shakedown, inquiry hears

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Gupta-linked Black First Land First pestered Mkhwebane to complete the CIEX report — inquiry hears

Mpofu complained that “the media” (as usual) had failed to report that the legal opinion had set out that there was no legal impediment to the committee summonsing the President. [Daily Maverick published exactly this].

Legal services, however, did set out the parameters of this course of action and gave reasons that Ramaphosa should not be called as a witness.

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

In the event that the committee was of the view that Ramaphosa should be called, legal services advised that this be done in the “spirit of cooperative governance” and before any process to summons.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Mkhwebane suffers third strike as court sets aside remedial action aimed at former SARS deputy Ivan Pillay

Read more in Daily Maverick: “‘Be my eyes and ears’, former Public Protector Mkhwebane told her head of security

Mpofu said on Wednesday that he would take the letter from the committee rejecting Mkhwebane’s request “at face value and the final word on the issue”.

However, Mkhwebane reserved the right to take whatever legal steps necessary to accomplish her catch of the decade.

As to Ramaphosa being called as an ordinary citizen, although Mkhwebane had addressed her letter to “his workplace”; “we are calling him as a witness, as a citizen, like any other witness. He is in no different position from Johan Loggerenberg or Tebogo Kekana,” Mpofu opined.

Ramaphosa had “implicated the PP in alleged conduct which would be impeachable”, and so had to be called, said Mpofu.

Gumbi Tyelela, senior manager, human resources in the Office of the Public Protector, gave evidence after Mpofu had hammered home his displeasure. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Peter Atkins says:

    How can our legal system be tied in knots over and over again by appeals and counter appeals? Surely judgers and magistrates can invoke some common sense. Justice delayed is not justice.

  • Miles Japhet says:

    The Law Society should have a serious look at Mpofu’s ethical basis to be a lawyer. He is close to defeating the ends of justice in the way he plays loose and fast with both the letter and spirit of the law. Us citizens continue to pay for this charade

  • Paddy Ross says:

    Why can’t the Legal Practice Council do something to restore confidence in the legal profession by removing the embarrassment of Mpofu’s kindergarten performances, at tax payers’ expense, from the courts of law?

  • Chris 123 says:

    He rejects it, oh well that’s it then, he and the PP are working under Fraser and RET instructions trying to derail Ramaphosa at every turn. Suspect the sex abuse against Enoch is part of the same operation.

  • Tim Spring says:

    This guy

  • William Stucke says:

    What an idiot! He has appeared before me and has never impressed anyone.

  • Ian Callender-Easby says:

    This quasi-legal’s antics are not worthy of comment or response. The depths from which he plies his trade are uninhabitable.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    we do not accept the majority decision – and so with all EFF positions on, well, everything really!

  • Andrew Blaine says:

    I suggest that the mindset of Adv Mpofu springs from the verbiage generated by the EFF compounded by his behaviour at Zuma’s trial -the Stalingrad Defence where justice is stayed by verbosity, even where it is nonsensical and/or irrelevant

  • Bruce Q says:

    Isn’t it time that our Judges and the South African legal profession as a whole stand up to this clown’s antics.
    He is arrogant, rude and devious. He clearly has little morality and is costing us taxpayers ridiculous amounts of wasted money.
    For goodness sake people, rid us of these deranged idiots!
    It’s people like Mpofu, Zuma, Mkhwebane, Malema and their ilk who hold this country back from reaching the beautiful place it should be for all her people’s.

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