Congress of the People (COPE) says it has chosen Judge President of the Gauteng High Court Dunstan Mlambo to serve on the panel of experts to assess if there is prima facie evidence to justify a full-scale inquiry into the fitness of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to hold office. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has nominated judges Robert Nugent and Jeanette Traverso.

Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise had given political parties represented in Parliament until 7 February to nominate persons to serve on the panel.

The DA instituted a motion to remove Mkhwebane from office following a number of negative court judgments against her.

Newly adopted rules for the removal of heads of Chapter Nine institutions require that an independent panel must be established, after which an ad hoc committee will make its findings.

Mkhwebane has since lodged an urgent court application to halt the start of the process.

COPE national spokesperson Dennis Bloem says Mlambo has integrity.

“We feel that he is the best candidate for this panel that will decide the future of the Public Protector because he has proven himself over the years. He is a very sober and fair person without any scandal to his name.”

IFP Chief Whip Narend Singh says the party will only reveal the names of the justices after it has consulted them.

“In choosing those that we have recommended, we look at retired justices of the Constitutional Court and other high courts because we believe that, firstly, they will have the time. Secondly, they have the expertise and impartiality and the legal mind. We do trust that when the Speaker consults these particular individuals that one or two of them will be able to avail themselves to sit on this table.”

FOR MORE, SEE TIMELINE BELOW ON MKHWEBANE’S RUN-INS WITH PARLIAMENT: