The Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will not be probed for possible removal from office, following a majority vote at Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services on Tuesday – 6 against 3.
“It’s nothing short of a disgrace,” said DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach.
John Steenhuisen MP, Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance – 26 February 2019
Today the Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee considered a draft report on the request for the National Assembly to expedite procedure to remove the Public Protector (PP), Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in terms of section 194 of the Constitution.
The draft report tabled and supported by the ANC coalition of corruption in-committee today found that that it would be premature for removal proceedings to be instituted against the Public Protector because it is the National Assembly that must determine that the Public Protector’s conduct renders her unfit to hold office and that this discretion cannot be replaced by the court’s view.
The DA will now submit a minority report on the matter as we continue our to fight to ensure that Chapter 9 institution office bearers be held to account by those they serve.
Today’s report follows the DA’s submission to the Speaker of Parliament in September 2017 and again in February 2018 calling for the initiation of proceedings to remove the PP from office after the Gauteng High Court delivered judgement in the matter of ABSA Bank Limited & Others v the Public Protector Casein which a number of deeply pejorative findings were made against Advocate Mkhwebane.
Amongst others, the court found that Advocate Mkhwebane:
- Is reasonably suspected of bias
- Brought an impartial mind to bear on the issues before her
- Was found to have been so derelict in executing her duties that the court ordered that she, in her personal capacity pay 15% of the costs of the South African Reserve Bank on an attorney and client scale, including the costs of three counsel.
- In March 2018 the PP’s appeal was rejected by a full bench of the same High Court, and these findings were upheld.
Today’s committee recommendation is nothing new and the ANC will continue to shield their rank and file from the consequences of their actions.
This draft report fails dismally to deal with the substantive merits of the matter as well as the substantive court findings made against the PP in this matter.
It is patently clear that the PP is not a fit and proper person for this process and is unfit for office.