National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has confirmed that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane‘s lawyers will serve them with court papers to halt the process to initiate her possible removal from office.

Modise was answering media questions during a briefing on preparations for the State of the Nation Address (SONA). Mkhwebane’s court challenge comes after Modise approved a Democratic Alliance (DA) motion to initiate the process of possibly removing her from office.

The National Assembly Rules that were passed towards the end of 2019 outline the processes that have to be followed to initiate the removal of heads of Chapter 9 Institutions.

Mkhwebane says these rules are unlawful and unconstitutional. Modise confirms that Mkhwebane is taking them to court.

“Yes, we have been busy with the lawyers of the Public Protector. We do know that we do not yet have a court date appearance, but we are in the process of attending to what the lawyers have said. They are serving us with papers and that is in order.”

Following the media briefing, Modise told journalists that Parliament has no special interest in Mkhwebane’s possible removal. She says the constitution allows Parliament to determine its own rules in line with the constitution.

“We are very confident as Parliament that we have no special interest in the matter. We have a motion in front of us, which, in terms of the rules, we cannot ignore. But please remember that Parliament is enabled by the constitution to make its own processes, to determine its rules, to do the internal processes. Also, remember that all the Chapter 9 institutional heads and board are established in terms of processes outlined by Parliament. They are appointed, yes, from the executive, but the processes, the adverts, the determination of whatever is done by Parliament. It does not look out of order that Parliament would have a process which then removes.”

The Speaker also says Parliament has not made any special preparations for any possible disruptions during SONA. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it will decide this weekend whether or not it will disrupt this year’s SONA.

The party is currently meeting for its first Plenum for the year comprising of the Central Command Team, CCT in Centurion, Pretoria until Sunday.

The annual Plenum is a strategic planning meeting of the party, comprising of the regional, provincial and national leadership.

Secretary-General of the EFF Marshall Dlamini said South Africans will know in due time if the EFF will disrupt proceedings at SONA. The party has said it will make sure Ramaphosa does not address the nation if he still has Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Public Enterprises.

The State of the Nation Address will take place at the National Assembly in Cape Town next week Thursday.