National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise is satisfied that a new motion by the DA for proceedings to be initiated to remove public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office complies with the rules of the house.
According to a statement from parliament on Wednesday, Modise has written to political parties represented in the National Assembly, inviting them to nominate suitable people to serve on an external panel of experts. Parties have until March 6 to submit names to the speaker.
“The three-member panel must be fit and proper South Africans who, collectively, have the legal and other skills and experience to conduct a preliminary assessment of the motion, proposing a section 194 inquiry,” said parliament. Within 30 days of its appointment, the panel has to conduct and finalise its preliminary assessment and make a recommendation to the speaker.
“Ms Modise received the new motion on February 21 from DA chief whip Ms Natasha Mazzone, together with notification for the withdrawal of the previous motion submitted in December 2019. The previous process of establishing an expert panel in line with the previous motion fell away with the withdrawal,” said parliament.
“Section 194 of the constitution and the National Assembly’s rules allow any member of the National Assembly to submit a substantive motion to initiate a procedure to remove the holder of a public office. National Assembly rule 128(1) allows a member who has given notice of a motion to withdraw it at any time before being called upon to move the motion in the National Assembly.
Mkhwebane last month slammed the move to remove her through a parliamentary process. I am advised that the rules are unconstitutional and unlawful in that they amount to a violation of the constitutionally prescribed duty imposed on organs of state to protect the independence of chapter 9 institutions,” she told reporters.
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