The Western Cape High Court sitting in Cape Town is expected to hear an urgent application on Tuesday brought by the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to prevent Parliament in starting the impeachment process to remove her.
Both President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula are the respondents in the court case.
Mkhwebane wants the court to prevent Ramaphosa from suspending her pending the envisaged court outcomes by her challenging the impeachment process.
The Public Protector also wants the National Assembly not to move ahead with the process of removing her while she is still challenging the matter in court.
She will be the first Public Protector to be removed in this way if the majority of members in the National Assembly finally vote in favour of her removal.
EFF, ATM opposed Parliament proceeding
The Economic Freedom Fighters and the African Transformation Movement have expressed their opposition to Parliament’s decision to continue with the inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.
The announcement that the Section 194 investigation will go ahead was made on Tuesday despite Mkhwebane’s application to the Constitutional Court to reconsider its earlier decision which paved the way for the inquiry to be resumed.
Parliament’s legal adviser Siviwe Njikela told the committee that Mkhwebane had sent a letter threatening to interdict Parliament from going ahead with the investigation but that it had not yet been received.
“From our reading of the correspondence that we have obtained, the Public Protector seems to be saying after today’s meeting, depending on what the committee decides to do-they may file an urgent application to interdict the inquiry that the committee intends to proceed with. And we have no difficulty with that.”
Njikela adds, “We recognised the right that the Public Protector has to exhaust whatever legal avenue is available but we have not received that application. We are hoping that in the next couple of days or hours that application would come. So as I am speaking to you chairperson, all we have in front of us is the application for rescission of the decision of the Constitutional Court. There is no interdict or application for an interdict.”
Public Protector Mkhwebane approaches court to halt Parliament’s impeachment process