The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it will not support the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane through a parliamentary process. Parliament has approved a Democratic Alliance (DA) request for a process for the possible removal of Mkhwebane to start.

In December, the institution adopted new rules governing the removal heads of Chapter 9 institutions.

In terms of the rules, the process kicks off when the Speaker of the National Assembly agrees to the motion.

An independent panel of experts will be appointed to establish if prima facie evidence exists, after which an ad-hoc committee of Parliament will take the matter further.

The National Assembly must approve the final decision for a removal.

Mkhwebane has challenged the rules, calling them unlawful and unconstitutional.

One of her criticisms of the rules is that they have not given her the right of reply.

EFF Member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says all points of view must be heard.

“We should be taking into consideration any criticism from the public, including the PP (Public Protector), about the removal of people heading Chapter 9 institutions. To that extent, we don’t think there is anything wrong she is doing. I am saying the trap we are avoiding is the one that this entire process is drawing attention to – the removal of the PP (Public Protector) and we are opposed to that.”

Meanwhile, civil society group Democracy in Action plans to challenge Parliament’s rules.

The group says it will lodge a court application next week to halt the new rules.

Democracy in Action Spokesperson Thabo Mtsweni says, “(There was) no consultation process when the rules were made, also not when they were promulgated. Our legal team feels they should’ve consulted with all the heads of Chapter 9 institutions.”