A possible inquiry into the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is now a step closer.
National Assembly Secretary Masibulele Xaso on Thursday said the independent three-member panel to decide whether Mkhwebane has a case to answer should be able to start its work by 1 November.
The panel would have 30 days to make a recommendation. If it finds there is no basis for an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, the matter will end there.
If not, a multi-party committee of parliament would be set up to hold an inquiry.
Xaso said because the independent panel included judges, Speaker Thandi Modise should consult Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Until that is done the names of the panelists would be kept under wraps.
“The panel should be able to start, all things being equal, by the 1st of November and honourable members will be aware that the panel has 30 days within which to conduct its business,” Xaso said.
The Western Cape High Court last week dismissed Mkhwebane’s bid to halt the process, but she could go ahead with an application challenging the rules governing the process that was set down for November.
Modise told the National Assembly programming committee she did not know why Mkhwebane – who said Modise had failed to protect her – saw her as hostile.
“I’m supposed to be the enemy of the Public Protector, I don’t know why…I have no personal interest at all in the Public Protector,” she said.
Modise said she was just doing her job.
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