Go home, EFF MP tells SAHRC candidate

2016-10-14 10:55
Former president Thabo Mbeki with SAHRC head Lawrence Mushwana. (Mpho Raborife, News24, file)

Former president Thabo Mbeki with SAHRC head Lawrence Mushwana. (Mpho Raborife, News24, file)

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Cape Town - Former Public Protector and current SAHRC chairperson Lawrence Mushwana was told go “go home” during his interview to seek reappointment at the commission.

“Now, advocate Mushwana, I think it’s time for you to go home,” Economic Freedom Fighters MP Sam Matiase told him during his interview with Parliament’s justice portfolio committee on Thursday evening.

“When you left as a public protector, you were given a R7m handshake. That was enough for you to go home. And I would advise you that it’s time for you to go home,” he said.

Mushwana was one of the candidates being interviewed to fill seven commissioner posts at the South African Human Rights Commission.

He was given three minutes to tell the committee why he should be appointed, before he faced a barrage of questions from MPs.

Aloof leader

Matiase told Mushwana he was an aloof leader, which was made clear by his presentation to the committee. The trend had started when he was the public protector before Thuli Madonsela.

Aloof leadership was an institutional disease. Matters were left unattended and some elements took advantage of this, Matiase said.

African National Congress MP Loyiso Mpumlwana and committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga came to Mushwana’s rescue and said they were in the interview to determine if he was capable of continuing the “good work” he had done.

“I would say that we were unanimous in shortlisting advocate Mushwana, and today we want to determine his suitability or otherwise of all we have invited. It would not be fair to say to a candidate that now is the time to go home. It would seem like we invited him to humiliate him,” Motshekga said.

Rewording his comments, Matiase said Mushwana’s record at the SAHRC was disappointing.

He asked about decisions the SAHRC took regarding the August 2012 Marikana shooting, and complaints about inciting violence levelled against Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Mushwana was asked about complaints, from members of the public and NGOs that he and his commissioners had ignored the plight of 1 300 mental health patients who were transferred from the Life Healthcare Esidimeni facilities in Gauteng earlier this year.

Thirty-six of them died after they were moved to NGOs. The Gauteng health department said it did so to save money.

The interviews continue on Friday.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  anc  |  lawrence mushwana  |  eff  |  parliament 2016
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