Political parties differ on Mkhwebane’s proposed removal

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As Parliament prepares to go ahead with the inquiry into the possible removal of the Public Protector, some political parties appear not to support the move.

The institution has adopted new rules to facilitate the removal of the heads of  Chapter 9 institutions.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane will be the first to be subjected to this process.

However, she isn’t rolling over and playing dead.

Mkhwebane has threatened to take the matter to court, rejecting the new rules as unlawful and unconstitutional.

She’s raised concerns about right of reply, conflicted individuals and the fact that the Speaker of the National Assembly approved this motion before the existence of evidence was established.

But several lawmakers seem to think she doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Chief Whip of the ANC Pemmy Majodina says as the process unfolds, all questions will be answered.

“Nothing is going to be concluded without her being heard on by the ad-hoc committee, if we reach that stage. But I think she is very panicking. I think she must calm down and allow the process to unfold. The way she is talking, it’s like MPs would be on this panel. It will be an independent panel. I wish she could put her ducks in a row and understand exactly where we come from.”

She was supported by African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Steve Swart.

“We are sure that the laws we passed in the NA (National Assembly) are constitutional and lawful and that it would survive the test in court. But if the PP (Public Protector) wants to test it she has a right to do so. But we are pretty confident that the new rules are solid.”

The EFF, however, is one of the parties with a different point of view.

The party’s Member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says Mkhwebane is being targeted because she has investigated ANC heavyweights such as Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

“We should be taking into consideration any criticism from the public, including the PP, 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 and we are opposed to that.”

Political Commentator Lukhona Mnguni says it would serve Mkhwebane well to go through the process.

“She should name those people that she thinks are conflicted, tell the Speaker who they are, so they can’t be on the panel … but in a body of 400 MPs you can’t also say all of them are so conflicted that they can’t sit on a committee to scrutinise you. It’s the easiest way to get out of being held accountable and I think in a way she is already there, trying to avoid being held accountable and using every means possible to extend her time in office.”

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