The Committee for Section 194 Inquiry into suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office has adopted its report, with most members voting to support Mkhwebane’s removal.
CAPE TOWN – The Committee for Section 194 Inquiry into suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office has adopted its report, with most members voting to support Mkhwebane’s removal.
The report was adopted despite Mkhwebane not having her say on it.
Committee chairperson Qubudile Dyantyi said the committee had received no comment or submission from Mkhwebane on their draft report, despite Monday being the deadline set by the committee for her to respond.
Instead, Mkhwebane signed up with a new firm of attorneys, Motsoeneng Bill Attorneys Incorporated, who wrote to the committee to ask for more time to brief Mkhwebane’s advocate.
During the committee’s debate on whether to give more time or wrap up, ANC MP Bheki Nkosi said if they agreed to her request it would impact on the committee’s obligation to finish its work and hand its report to the National Assembly.
Nkosi reminded his colleagues that Mkhwebane’s term ends in October and said: “She doesn’t appear to acknowledge or understand the severity of the charges against her.”
ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude agreed and said Mkhwebane was given ample time and support but missed the opportunities.
“We don’t have an open-ended mandate to deal with the inquiry.”
The committee will now submit the finished report to Parliament where it will have to garner a two-thirds majority to remove Mkhwebane from office.
Three parties represented on the committee, the EFF, the ATM and Al Jama-ah, however, voted to reject the report with the EFF’s Omphile Maotwe saying the committee was unreasonably hasty in its actions.
After Dlakude moved for the adoption of the report, seconded by Kevin Mileham (DA), Maotwe said: “We reject the report with contempt and we stand by our position that we reserve our right to take it on review.”
ATM leader Vuyo Zungula said his party rejected the report as being irrational and biased. He said it was drafted with the aim of “nailing Mkhwebane”.
Al Jama-ah leader Ganief Hendricks meanwhile called on the committee to propose a lesser sanction than Mkhwebane’s removal from office.