Home South African Parliament notifies Ramaphosa of resumption of Busisiwe Mkhwebane impeachment inquiry

Parliament notifies Ramaphosa of resumption of Busisiwe Mkhwebane impeachment inquiry

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The move could pave the way for Ramaphosa to place Mkhwebane on suspension as the parliamentary inquiry will start in the coming weeks.

Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

PARLIAMENT has notified President Cyril Ramaphosa of its plans to push ahead with the inquiry into the fitness of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to hold public office.

The move could pave the way for Ramaphosa to place Mkhwebane on suspension as the parliamentary inquiry will start in the coming weeks.

This happens hot on the heels of Mkhwebane’s rescission application at the Constitutional Court, asking the apex court to reverse its earlier order that paved the way for the parliamentary inquiry.

The court had ruled that Mkhwebane be granted full legal representation during the proceedings.

However, it dismissed her application against the parliamentary rules providing for a judge on the independent panel that decided whether she has a case to answer.

Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had written to Ramaphosa informing him that the Committee on Section 194 inquiry will be resuming with its proceedings.

“The Speaker’s letter to the president is being sent out of courtesy, as the president is responsible for the appointment and removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions in terms of the Constitution,” Mothapo said.

The parliamentary inquiry into the fitness of Mkhwebane to hold office was put on hold pending the judgment of the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the National Assembly rules governing the removal processes for the office-bearers of institutions supporting democracy.

Following the court’s ruling, the Section 194 inquiry committee adopted the terms of reference and resolved to continue with its consideration of the motion of removal of Mkhwebane.

It was decided that an external evidence leader be appointed for the inquiry that is scheduled to start in earnest this month and run through until September.

Mothapo said the enquiry, arising from the motion tabled in February 2020 by the DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone, would be limited to considering the charges of incompetence and/or misconduct.

He also said it was a constitutional process to establish whether Mkhwebane was incompetent or has mis-conducted herself as alleged.

“It is neither a judicial nor quasi-judicial process, nor is it an adversarial process. It is an inquisitorial process, informed by Parliament’s constitutional oversight mandate, and the principle of fairness shall be paramount to the manner in which the committee conducts the enquiry,” Mothapo said.

Political Bureau

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