Lawyers for President Cyril Ramaphosa have argued that it is lawful to suspend Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office. This as Mkhwebane challenges President Ramaphosa’s intention to suspend her, pending the Parliamentary impeachment process against her.
The matter is being heard in the Western Cape High Court between the Public Protector and Parliament.
The Public Protector has launched an urgent Western Cape High Court application to halt the impeachment process as well as her suspension.
Legal representative for the office of the Presidency, Karisha Pillay says the extent to which the President must withdraw from the process must be thoroughly ventilated.
The President’s lawyers insist the Public Protector can be lawfully suspended pending her impeachment process.
The Public Protector has maintained that she is being victimised as President Ramaphosa is conflicted in the matter following investigations against him.
President Cyril Ramaphosa had issued her with a letter requesting reasons why she should not be suspended pending the proceedings.
On Wednesday, Mkhwebane’s legal team argued that Ramaphosa must withdraw from the process due to a conflict of interest.
Pillay says, “If the President is conflicted, should he be prohibited from taking any step in pursuance of suspension? delegate? use this to underscore the breadth of what is being sought.”
VIDEO: The matter between Public Protector and National Assembly:
Advocate Dali Mpofu, legal counsel for Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has argued that to suspend her while impeachment proceedings are underway, would be punitive and cause reputational harm.