The Office of the Public Protector has given clarity on advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s legal bid to appeal the Western Cape High Court’s dismissal of her application in November 2020 seeking an interdict against the parliamentary removal proceedings against her.
After the parliamentary removal proceedings got underway early last year, Mkhwebane unsuccessfully asked the high court to halt the proceedings until after her legal challenge to the National Assembly’s rules for the removal of the heads of Chapter 9 institutions.
Public Protector spokesperson Oupa Segalwe on Wednesday said the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) was yet to rule on Mkhwebane’s leave to appeal application of the high court ruling.
He said the first part of the application was to interdict the parliamentary removal proceedings from going ahead and the second part was to review Parliament’s rules adopted on the removal of the heads of Chapter 9 institutions.
“That matter is before the Constitutional Court on appeal. We do not have a date yet as to when the case will be heard, but with regards to the review of the rules, that matter is before the Western Cape High Court and we expect it to be heard in June this year,” Segalwe told the SABC’s Morning Live programme.
“We are merely waiting for the chief justice to give us directions in terms of what will happen, when papers should be filed and when the case will be heard to put this matter to rest.”
On Monday, an independent review panel appointed by Parliament said it found prima facie evidence of incompetence and wrongdoing on Mkhwebane’s part.
The panel, which comprised retired Constitutional Court judge Bess Nkabinde, advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, and advocate Johan de Waal, was appointed after the DA tabled a motion for Mkhwebane’s removal from office.
The next step in the parliamentary process is for the National Assembly to consider the panel’s recommendation that it holds an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness for office.
If it adopts such a motion – for which a simple majority is required – the case will be referred to a committee to conduct the inquiry.
If the committee recommends she be removed, a motion to that effect will be put to the National Assembly, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass.
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