Parliament has voted in support of a motion on an inquiry to decide on the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. The motion was initiated by the DA.
During a National Assembly sitting on Tuesday, 275 MPs voted in support of the motion and 40 members objected. Speaker Thandi Modise said the matter will now be referred for an inquiry. The report of the independent panel will now be referred to a committee for a formal inquiry,” said Modise.
The Constitutional Court on Tuesday dismissed Mkhwebane’s interdict to stop the Parliamentary process for an inquiry into her fitness for office. The ANC threw its weight behind the motion on the inquiry after holding an emergency caucus meeting on the issue.
Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters party said it would challenge the decision of the National Assembly to set up an inquiry.
The inquiry was set up after a panel of experts, led by retired Constitutional Court Judge Bess Nkabinde, and supported by advocates Johan de Waal,SC and Dumisa Ntsebeza,SC found there was a prima facie case against Mkhwebane. EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema, the party leader, tried to block the process saying it was unconstitutional.
But Modise said they had followed the law in setting up the inquiry. Dlakude said Mkhwebane would have an opportunity to state her case in the inquiry.
Parliament will now establish an ad hoc committee comprising different parties to look into Mkhwebane’s fitness.
Mkhwebane’s tenure as Public Protector has been shrouded in controversy since she took over the reins from Thuli Madonsela in 2016. DA Chief Whip, Natasha Mazzone, has brought forward two motions calling for Mkhwebane’s removal from office.
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