Publication: Sapa Issued: Durban Date: 2000-11-16 Reporter: Sapa

Confusion over Summons on Baqwa






Date 2000-11-16

Confusion reigned on Thursday as to whether a summons had been issued on Public Protector Selby Baqwa to face a charge of common assault relating to an incident on October 30.

Advocate Elsea Smith, spokeswoman for the kwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe, said the matter was still under review and a summons had not been issued.

Shortly afterwards, senior public prosecutor Barend Groen told Sapa that a summons had been issued but not served.

"I can confirm that a summons has been issued against Selby Baqwa. It has been issued," Groen said.

Police spokesman Captain Vishnu Naidoo stressed earlier that a summons had been issued but not served.

However, Smith told Sapa that police were given strict instructions not to talk to the media about the matter. Naidoo said he received permission from his head office.

Police also said the summons was issued on Tuesday for Baqwa to appear in court on February 15 next year.

Also on Thursday, Advocate Marumo Moerane, who consulted Baqwa earlier this week, said he was not aware of the decision to prosecute.

He confirmed that he had been asked by Baqwa to represent him in the event that he was charged.

The assault charge was laid by a woman who claimed she was slapped by the public protector.

The incident allegedly happened in the Durban City Lodge while he was attending the 13th international ombudsman conference.

Dolly Mkhulisi claimed that Baqwa had assaulted her in the room where the two were staying. She consulted a doctor shortly afterwards and the charge was laid at the Durban central police station on November 7.

The docket was handed to Mpshe's office for a decision.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.