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

ANC to submit names for independent panel for removal of Mkhwebane

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published Feb 7, 2020

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Johannesburg - The ANC will on Friday submit its nominees to serve on the panel to assess the DA motion requesting that Parliament initiate proceedings for the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

"By tomorrow (Friday), we are submitting our proposals of names to serve on the three panel members as per the amended rule of 2019," the party's chief, Pemmy Majodina said on Thursday following the party's first caucus meeting of the year.

Parties have until today to make submissions to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise on their nominees to serve on the panel.

The independent panel, to be formed by fit and proper South Africans, will conduct and finalise a preliminary assessment on the motion proposing Mkhwebane's removal from office.

It has 30 days after its appointment to make a recommendation to Modise.

Majodina told the media that the panel would check if there was any need for Mkhwebane or any person from Chapter 9 institutions to be investigated.

"Depending on the strength of that report, an adhoc committee might be put in place or might not be in place. We are dealing with that process," she said.

"The third process could be what is the state of that motion and whether we support it as ANC or not. We are not yet there at the moment," Majodina added.

Last week, ANC MP and former North West premier Supra Mahamapelo said the ANC would not support the motion of the opposition in the form of the DA to remove the public protector.

On Thursday, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said Mahumapelo's remarks came up at the caucus meeting.

"The clarity of the matter is that right now there is a process in place but the ANC has not discussed either way where we stand so we can give you a definite answer as the organisation and what will happen," Duarte said.

"Once the process is at the point when Parliament has to make a decision, then the chief whip and caucus will discuss and give guidance on what to do . Right now there is no decision," she added.

Duarte also stated that the governing party had distanced itself from Mahumapelo's remarks.

"We made it clear that he is speaking on his own behalf. He cannot and did not speak on behalf of the ANC," she  said.

Duarte would not be drawn whether Mahumapelo brought the parliamentary caucus into disrepute or not.

"We can't make that kind of comment," she said.

At Thursday's caucus meeting was ANC veteran Pallo Jordan, who lectured on the national question as part of the programme of the ANC's OR Tambo School of Leadership.

Duarte said it was important for the ANC caucus to be kept abreast with current debates that were taking place in organisation and the country.

"One of our key issues in our priorities this year is nation-building and so that is an important matter to discuss with representatives of the people who will be going out there to have discussions on the ground in their constituencies." 

Jordan said the issues have always been who were the South Africans and who was included or excluded.

"The ANC has always held as stated in Freedom Charter that South Africa belongs to all who live in it but what that means in actual fact?" 

Former president Thabo Mbeki previously made remarks that "we are living in a society with two nations - one rich, one poor".

"Do we still have that and is it rich and poor nations still defined in racial terms or defined otherwise. That is the importance of national question because we want to build an inclusive South Africa which all South Afrcians identify with in the first instance as South Africans. They may have other identities in addition to that," Jordan added.

Political Bureau

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