The work of the parliamentary inquiry into Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office is officially under way.
The committee tasked with the inquiry chose seasoned ANC MP Qubudile Richard Dyantyi as its chairperson on Tuesday morning. He was elected unopposed.
The Section 194 inquiry is named for the part of the Constitution that deals with the removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions on the grounds of misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.
An independent panel led by retired Constitutional Court Justice Bess Nkabinde found that Mkhwebane had a case to answer.
Newly elected chairperson of the Section 194 inquiry Dyantyi said the committee must approach its work with an open mind and focus on a fair process.
Dyantyi noted how opinion over Mkhwebane’s performance is polarised, with some having already decided she is unfit to hold office.
“That is one extreme being advanced already – that she is not fit to hold office, even before we start our inquiry. The other extreme is that the PP is fit to hold office and therefore there is no need for this inquiry.
“These are the two extremes I am urging colleagues that we avoid – and we will do that by staying focused on due process. Let us stay focused on facts and evidence. Let the outcome be the undisputed outcome of adherence to facts. There are no pre-determined outcomes.”
The committee has 35 members, representing all parties in Parliament except for the African Transformation Movement, which did not take up its seat.
All members have voting rights, with the ANC in the majority with 19 MPs, the DA four, the EFF two, and 10 other MPs representing the other political parties.
The committee is set to meet again soon to plot its way forward.
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