The EFF claims it is a political attempt to destruct the public protector from doing her job and holding people accountable.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have said that they will oppose the “ frivolous and disingenuous motion” to remove Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office.
According to an EFF statement, the motion to remove Mkhwebane is a united action by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and “a Ramaphosa faction in the ANC.”
“We have no doubt that this motion will be defeated,” said EFF leader Julius Malema.
EFF labels motion as ‘political attempt’
The party said the inquiry is a political attempt to safeguard President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.
“It is to destruct the Public Protector from doing her honourable job of holding Ramaphosa and Gordhan accountable,” said Malema.
“We will also be objecting to the inclusion of the conflicted retired Judge Nugent in the panel of those who will conduct the preliminary inquiry,” he added.
Here’s why the EFF wants to exclude Judge Nugent
Judge Nugent, according to the EFF, has demonstrated the greatest incompetence to be “a sober and independent judge during the SASR Commission of Inquiry.”
Malema claims he secretly met Gordhan ahead of his testimony at the commission to guide him on how to give evidence.
“This makes him a conflicted judge who will secretly meet witnesses, thus rendering the entire process futile. Furthermore, Judge Nugent suppressed an affidavit that contained compromising information on Ramaphosa from public records in the same commission. He has proven to be a cabal member who is always seeking to protect Ramaphosa and Gordhan,” added Malema.
Public protector intends on going to court
Mkhwebane has filed an urgent bid in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday 4 February to “challenge the lawfulness and constitutionality of the rules which the national assembly is to rely upon,” as she puts it.
However, according to her affidavit, she is mainly challenging her removal from office.
Cited directly from her affidavit, Mkhwebane said: “It is the very first time ever, in our young democracy that a serious attempt is being made to remove and dethrone the head of a watchdog institution by impeachment”.
The public protector also stated that taking accountability involves making it “very difficult for politicians to control and remove, at a whim, those who are entrusted with the role of being the watchdogs of the public”.
The “watchdog” — as she calls herself — is also asking the court for an order forcing National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise to provide her with reasons for her decision to approve the motion by acting DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone, to remove her from office.
Political parties have until Wednesday 12 February to submit names to serve on an independent panel to look into the motion to remove the public protector. The EFF will no doubt oppose this.
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Source: The South African