Former State Security Agency (SSA) DG Arthur Fraser once called Public Protector security manager Baldwin Neshunzhi to tell him to ‘pull up his socks’ in supporting Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Parliament's Section 194 Committee heard yesterday.

Neshunzi who testified before the committee, tasked with inquiring into Mkhwebane's fitness for office, lifted the veil on the SSA's influence at the office.

Before he began, Advocate Dali Mpofu SC, on behalf of Mkhwebane, objected to him testifying, claiming his evidence would be irrelevant.

The South African reports that Mpofu labelled the security manager another ‘disgruntled employee’. And Mpofu stated that an affidavit given by Neshunzhi was irrelevant in terms of the core complaints against the Public Protector.

‘This thing has now turned into a complaint’s office. What would be the relevance of hearing from someone who says “well, I was transferred from one department to another”. So what?’

In response to Mpofu’s questions directed to the inquiry’s evidence leaders about the relevance of the evidence from PPSA employees, Advocate Nazreen Bawa agreed only evidence that determined the veracity of the grounds against Mkhwebane was relevant to the committee.

Chairperson of the Inquiry Richard Dyanti allowed Neshunzhi to be sworn in, explaining that the committee would not stop anyone from submitting information to them.

The Cape Argus reports that Bawa said Neshunzhi’s testimony was relevant for a number of reasons, including that he knew State Security Agency operative Maiendra Moodley who, during the CIEX matter, gave Mkhwebane the piece of paper containing the constitutional amendment with regards to the SA Reserve Bank.

Full report in The South African

Full Cape Argus report