Municipality Speaker Mahlangu In Hot Water

Dr. JS Moroka Local Municipality Speaker Dipuo Pearlygate Mahlangu faces contempt of court charges after she ignored three subpoena notices to appear before Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The public protector on Sunday said a criminal contempt case has been opened against Mahlangu at Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria.

Mahlangu was due to give evidence and produce documents about an investigation into the alleged irregular appointment of B.M. Mhlanga as acting municipal manager at the Mpumalanga local municipality.

Mhlanga also faced allegations of maladministration.

Speaker Mahlangu had been served with subpoena notices on 9 June, 12 July and 3 September 2021, to appear in person before the public protector.  

“No apology was received in respect of the first hearing,” complained Mkhwebane.

“With regard to the second hearing, a WhatsApp text was received from her office, claiming she had been admitted to hospital.

“However, no medical certificate was provided. Neither was the name of the hospital specified.”

The last straw was the Speaker’s aide telling the public protector that her boss Mahlangu could not attend the hearing because she had been summoned to Nelspruit by the African National Congress.

Mkhwebane said, unlike ordinary investigation meeting requests, a subpoena has legal implications.

“There are serious consequences for failure to cooperate and comply without just cause,” she said.