Parliament sets date for public protector decisions

Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 1, 2023


Parliament on Thursday resolved to consider the removal of suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and the appointment of her successor on September 11.

This will take place at a physical meeting to be held at the Cape Town City Hall and MPs will vote by roll call on both items.

The matter emerged when the National Assembly programme committee met to consider the business of the national legislature for the third term.

Earlier this week, the ad hoc committee mandated to nominate a candidate for the public protector position recommended Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka.

This took place days after the Section 194 Inquiry into the fitness of Mkhwebane to hold office recommended her removal after it found her guilty of incompetence and misconduct charges.

Her term of office ends on October 14.

Briefing the committee, National Assembly secretary Masibulele Xaso said the report on the appointment and removal of the public protector had been finalised.

Xaso also said there was a proposal that the matters be considered in a physical meeting in the Cape Town City Hall in 10 days.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina confirmed that the chief whips forum discussed the matters.

“We looked at the programme of Parliament and the availability of the city hall. The city hall is only available on September 11,” Majodina said.

She also said they were aware that the chosen date was a constituency day wherein MPs conduct party work.

“If we don’t in September, it might take us up to November, which is something we don’t want to prolong,” Majodina said.

She also stated that the parties present, except one that was still to consult, agreed the parliamentary session should start at 2pm to allow MPs to fly into Cape Town on Sunday and Monday morning.

Majodina said the chief whips forum also agreed that the programme committee should agree on roll call as a voting procedure on the day.

IFP chief whip Narend Singh confirmed that they had agreed on the matters as did DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube.

“We are certainly of the view that considering the special majorities that are needed for both Section 194 and public protector ad hoc committee, it is of absolute importance to be not only physical (meeting) but there be a roll call.

“We want to make sure as Parliament we are not found wanting in terms of this process as it has taken us a long time to get here,” Gwarube said.

ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude seconded the voting procedure on voting by a roll call.

Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said they would start with the removal of Mkhwebane from office and then consider the appointment of the new public protector.

Cape Times