Phumelela has issued a press release clarifying its position on the forthcoming Public Protector hearings into horse racing. The full text reads as follows:
Phumelela has noted an article on the Sporting Post website which states that it has applied for an interdict to postpone or halt the Public Protector’s forthcoming hearings into horse racing. Phumelela wishes to respond thereto as follows:
1. The Public Protector’s investigation commenced in 2012 and Phumelela was first contacted by the Public Protector in respect thereof in August 2013. Since then, Phumelela has cooperated fully with the Public Protector and has:
1.1. attended numerous meetings with representatives of the office of the Public Protector;
1.2. submitted documents and information to the Public Protector, upon request and of its own accord; and
1.3. briefed an independent conveyancer to compile a report on the historic ownership of the Arlington racecourse and furnished the Public Protector with the report.
2. Phumelela welcomes the investigation and wishes to participate in any public hearing stemming from the investigation. Phumelela is determined to cooperate fully to ensure that the investigation is concluded as swiftly as possible.
3. However, Phumelela is entitled to a fair process. This includes, at a minimum, adequate notice of any public hearings at which evidence may be led against it and an opportunity to test such evidence.
4. Despite requesting clarity regarding the public hearings in April, when they were only alluded to by the Public Protector, Phumelela received no notice of the hearings scheduled to commence on 4 September 2018. In fact, Phumelela became aware of the hearings through the press.
5. As soon as it became aware of the hearings, Phumelela consulted its legal advisors and was advised to institute proceedings to postpone the hearings. Phumelela has not applied for the hearings to be interdicted or cancelled. Phumelela does not wish to impede or obstruct the hearings. It merely seeks to ensure that its right to a fair process is protected, and that it is afforded an opportunity to participate in the hearings in the interest of a conclusive outcome.
6. Should the hearings be properly convened, with adequate notice and a fair opportunity for all affected parties to participate therein, Phumelela is certain that the Public Protector will be in a position to make a well informed final decision in respect of her investigation.