Parliament has directly approached the Constitutional Court after the Western Cape High Court ruled that Parliament had erred when it included retired Constitutional Court Judge Bess Nkabinde in a three member panel of legal experts that found a prima facie case against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s ability to hold office.
The High Court also found that Parliament had erred when its rules denied a head of the Chapter Nine institution legal representation. Now, Parliament has launched a two-pronged approach – asking the High Court for leave to appeal its ruling in the Supreme Court of Appeal and seeking direct access to the Constitutional Court.
Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says, “We do not believe that there was any harm that the public protector suffered with regard to the inclusion of a judge in the panel process, we believe that the judge did not perform any judicial function that would breach the doctrine of separation of powers – she was playing an advisory role as part of the panel. Secondly, the issue of the legal representation will set a wrong precedent in that those who account to Parliament will do so in future through their legal representation instead of personally doing so.”
In the video below is a probe into the Public Protector’s fitness to hold office: