Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2000-11-17 Reporter:Bonile Ngqiyaza

Prosecutor says Baqwa to be Charged



Business Day

Date 2000-11-17


Bonile Ngqiyaza

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The kwaZulu-Natal director of prosecutions has ordered that Public Protector Selby Baqwa be charged with common assault, says a senior prosecutor.

Barend Groen said yesterday a case of common assault had been opened against Baqwa and a summons issued for him to appear in court in February.

This followed media reports this week alleging Baqwa assaulted Dolly Mkhulisi on October 30 in a room at the City Lodge in Durban while there for the International Ombudsman institution's conference.

Baqwa's advocate, Marumo Moerane, said yesterday he was unaware of the summons. He said: "I am hearing it from you. There are a lot of rumours floating about and I have not been able to confirm anything. The next step is to wait and see what the director of prosecutions decides."

The Democratic Alliance's spokeswoman on justice, Sheila Camerer, said Baqwa's was an important office. In terms of the constitution, the public protector, "is described as one of our institutions supporting democracy. The holder of that office should be beyond reproach." She knew Baqwa personally and this seemed out of character, she said.

With acknowledgements to Bonile Ngqiyaza and the Business Day.