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ATM, ActionSA question timing of Public Protector’s suspension

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The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has questioned the timing of the suspension of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, by president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The announcement of Mkhwebane’s suspension came shortly after Ramaphosa tabled the budget of the presidency at a sitting of the National Assembly at the Good Hope Chambers in Cape Town.

The ATM had lodged a complaint against Ramaphosa, for allegedly breaching the executive code of ethics relating to the alleged theft of four million US dollars at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm.

The president has denied doing anything wrong.

ATM spokesperson, Sibusiso Mncwabe, says he believes Ramaphosa’s move gives insight into what the president is going through.

Mncwabe says, “It gives us a clear indication that the president of the country is panicking now, from what might be discovered by the public protector. Our leader Vuyo Zungula, wrote to the PP, and we received her letter, that the matter is getting attention, and being investigated. Now, we’re receiving this news that she has been suspended, to us, it says the president is panicking because there’s nothing so far that necessitates the president to suspend the PP.”

Action SA leader, Herman Mashaba says the timing of Mkhwebane’s suspension is suspicious.

Mashaba says the matter between the president and the Public Protector has been long outstanding.

Below is the full interview with Mashaba:

Suspension

In a statement, the president says Mkhwebane will remain suspended until the Section 194 process to remove her in the National Assembly has been completed.

It says the President has fulfilled his obligation to provide Mkhwebane a fair hearing by according her sufficient time and opportunity to make submissions which he has considered carefully.

The statement says that due to the Deputy Public Protector empowered to act when the Public Protector is not able to perform her duties any investigations that are pending or underway should not be impeded.

In April,  Mkhwebane applied for an urgent High Court application to halt the Parliamentary impeachment proceedings against her.

Mkhwebane wants the authorisation of the Section 194 committee to be declared unconstitutional and invalid.

VIDEO: Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane fights impeachment in court:

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