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EFF to challenge inquiry draft report on Mkhwebane removal in court

Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Published Aug 14, 2023


Cape Town - After the majority decision of the Committee for Section 194 Inquiry into suspended Public Protector (PP) Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to draft a report recommending that Parliament remove her from office, the EFF has said it will mount a court challenge.

On Friday the committee adopted its draft report and resolved to recommend Mkhwebane’s removal from Parliament based on what it said was, “conclusive evidence on the charges of incompetence and misconduct.”

Mkhwebane will now be given a final opportunity to respond in writing to the draft report by August 21 for the committee’s further consideration.

Committee members Bheki Nkosi (ANC) and Doris Dlakude (ANC) both said that based on Mkhwebane’s reaction to the draft report, there would be space to reconsider the draft after which the committee would adopt a final report for tabling in Parliament.

While the majority of committee members who participated in Friday’s meeting were in favour of removing Mkhwebane, two political parties, the EFF and Al Jama-ah, voted against the recommendation.

Committee member Omphile Maotwe (EFF) condemned the draft report and recommendations as “premature”.

Committee member Omphile Maotwe (EFF). Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency(ANA).

She said it had shown the committee and its chairperson, Qubudile Dyantyi (ANC), to be in a hurry to remove Mkhwebane from office and Parliament was being used to punish an individual.

Maotwe said: “It demonstrates the determination of you (Dyantyi) as the chairperson and the entire committee to move with speed to impeach the PP regardless of the litany of procedural mishaps committed by the committee since inception.”

She said the committee’s draft report lent credence to the view held by Mkhwebane that the inquiry was a frivolous political process meant to punish her for “non-compliance with the dominant narrative which seeks to hold up the current head of state as a saint.”

“You’re going to leave us with no option as the EFF but to take this matter on review,” she said.

Committee member Kevin Mileham (DA) said he found it “bizarre” that Maotwe, who remained silent while committee members were deliberating the merits of the draft report, was only speaking up at the recommendations stage.

Mileham said: “We’ve gone through the evidence carefully and based our recommendations on evidence. To call it a witch hunt is unsubstantiated.”

Mileham also insisted that the recommendations include reporting Mkhwebane’s senior counsel, Dali Mpofu, to the Legal Practice Council for an inquiry incident in September last year where he allegedly threatened Dyantyi in the course of his duties.

Senior Counsel Dali Mpofu. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Speaking to the issue of fairness, Dyantyi said that in some instances, where the committee either did not have evidence against Mkhwebane or were not convinced of the evidence placed before it, it exonerated her and found in her favour.

“This clearly speaks of a fair process, a process that members entered into without any preconceived idea of an outcome.”

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Cape Argus