Mkhwebane seeks to halt parliamentary probe into her fitness for office

Busiswe Mkhwebane
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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane  has dismissed the Parliamentary process to remove her as unconstitutional.

Advocate Mkhwebane says she has, through her lawyers, written to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise asking for the process to be halted until her concerns are addressed.

She’s also voiced concerns over the conduct of the Speaker of Parliament in the build-up to setting an inquiry that will scrutinise her fitness to hold office.

Mkhwebane says the principle of listening to both sides has not been adequately applied.

She has also perturbed that those pushing for axing will form part of the process to axe her, saying this makes them the judge and the jury.

“I am advised that the rules are unconstitutional and unlawful in that they amount to a violation of the constitutionally prescribed duty imposed on organs of state to protect the independence of Chapter 9 institutions,” says Advocate Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane’s also fired a salvo at Modise for alleged failure to inform her first before publicly announcing her approval of the DA’s request.

“The Speaker’s conduct in purporting to approve the DA’s motion is unlawful. I have, through my lawyers, written to the Speaker this morning bringing to her attention the many deficiencies of these rules, including those I refer to in this statement and requesting her to furnish me with a response. I have further requested an undertaking from the Speaker that this grossly unfair process be temporally suspended until the issues I raise have been adequately addressed amicably.”

Mkhwebane believes the process to remove her is a retaliation to some of her damning reports. Without naming President Cyril Ramaphosa or Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, she says she’s being punished for “touching the untouchables.”

In 2019, Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa had misled Parliament about a R500 000 donation to his 2017 campaign for the ANC leadership. She has previously also ordered that President Ramaphosa take remedial action against Gordhan for his alleged involvement in the establishment of the so-called Sars rogue unit in 2007. Gordhan was the Sars Commissioner at the time.