Mkhwebane hopeful for a positive outcome amid intention to suspend her

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The Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is hoping for a positive outcome after approaching the Western Cape High Court for an order to interdict Parliament from continuing with its inquiry into her fitness to hold office until her application has been heard on the 25th of April.

She wants the court to order Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to withdraw her letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa informing him of the resumption of the Parliamentary inquiry.

Mkhwebane also wants the court to order Ramaphosa to withdraw his letter asking her to explain why she should not be suspended.

Meanwhile, the Public Protector says she believes there’s a moratorium on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s intention to suspend her until the matter is heard in court.

The 10-day period that Ramaphosa afforded Mkhwebane to furnish him with reasons why she should not be suspended ended on Thursday. This follows the decision by Parliament to kick-start its inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Mkhwebane says they have argued that the President is conflicted because her office is investigating him and also questioned the process that was followed by Mapisa-Nqakula.

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.”