Committee postpones meeting with Public Protector on Vrede dairy project

Cape Town - The parliamentary committee which summoned Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to appear before it on Wednesday to discuss her Vrede dairy farm project report, postponed the meeting.

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services pushed the meeting back to February 20 after House chairperson Cedrick Frolick ordered all committees to postpone sittings on Wednesday.

Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga on Tuesday said the postponement was due to a sudden amendment in the parliamentary programme, which left the committee with "too little time to address the matters on the agenda".

READ: Public Protector Mkhwebane displeased with justice committee

The ANC has scheduled an urgent caucus meeting on Wednesday, from 10:00, following the party's announcement that President Jacob Zuma is to be recalled

The committee summoned Mkhwebane to appear in Parliament to explain her statements on the Vrede report.

Motshekga said they decided to call Mkhwebane after she intimated she did not have the appropriate budget to probe information relating to the Gupta Leaks.

He also said the committee was concerned by rumours that information and evidence had been suppressed.

Mkhwebane on Monday said she was displeased that she had heard through the media that she had been summoned.

In her report, Mkhwebane had found that there were procurement irregularities, "gross negligence" and maladministration related to the controversial Vrede dairy project in the Free State.

She recommended as remedial action that Free State Premier Ace Magashule "initiate and institute disciplinary action against all implicated officials involved in the Vrede dairy project".

The DA however, as the original complainants, decided to take the report on judicial review, with party leader Mmusi Maimane labelling it "a mind-boggling whitewash".

DA federal chair James Selfe on Monday said the remedial action was a clear conflict of interest as Magashule was implicated in the matter.

Matters relating to the Guptas and Magashule were also not investigated, the party said.