Arguments are continuing in the Western Cape High Court in the case brought by Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, against National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and others.

Modise’s legal representative, Advocate Andrew Breitenbach has argued that the constitution grants the National Assembly the right to make its own rules regarding the removal of heads of Chapter nine institutions.

Mkhwebane earlier argued through her lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, that Parliament sought to amend the Constitution by making gross incompetence a ground for the removal of heads of Chapter Nine institutions.

Breitenbach says the rules in effect make the threshold for removal more difficult.

“The drafters of the constitution left the details related to these grounds to the assembly to spell out in its rules regulating the impeachment process. Secondly, it is permissible for the assembly when drafting the grounds on which chapter nine office bearers may be removed from office to qualify the terms misconduct incompetence and I will go incapacity, And in fact, I will go so far as to say that it invariably will happen when the assembly carries out its duty. It definitional duty.”

Update on Mkhwebane’s challenge against Parliament’s impeachment rules: 

In October last year, the court dismissed Part A of Mkhwebane’s challenge which was a bid to stop her removal proceedings. This paved the way for Parliament to establish a 36-member committee to look into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.
As part of Part B of her application, she wants Parliament’s new impeachment rules to be declared unconstitutional and invalid. The motion to impeach Mkhwebane was brought by the DA.

Parliament votes on Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office to proceed: