The ANC has received widespread criticism on Twitter after it said it welcomed the decisions to refer the removal of Public Protector to Parliament’s Rules Committee. File picture: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Durban - The ANC has received widespread criticism on Twitter after its Justice and Correctional Services study group on Tuesday said it welcomed the decisions of Parliament’s portfolio committee on Justice and Correctional Services to refer the removal of Public Protector  Busisiwe Mkhwebane to Parliament’s Rules Committee.

In a statement the committee said that currently section 194 (1) of the constitution provides for the removal of the Public Protector on the grounds of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence. The Study Group’s Chief Whip Hishaam Mohamed added that the constitution also stated that should a committee in parliament find such an adverse finding against the Public Protector then the incumbent would be removed from the Chapter Nine Institution.

“However, despite this provision, the constitution does not explicitly state the procedure that should be followed when removing the Public Protector from office. 

“Therefore, it is with this in mind that parliament’s rules committee has been tasked with drafting a set of rules, that will dictate what procedure should be followed when removing the Public Protector, or the head of any Chapter Nine Institution from office,” Mohamed said in a statement.

He added that the Public Protector’s office was a cornerstone of the country’s democracy and it played a crucial role in keeping members of the executive accountable.

“We as the ANC’s Study Group on Justice and Correctional Services will ensure that the process is fair, transparent and objective, in line with values and beliefs of South Africa’s constitution,” said Mohamed.

However many on Twitter did not take kindly to the statement with many accusing the ANC of selling out and failing to protect Mkhwebane. 

Sbu Ntshalintshali (@Sbudah4sure) wrote: “Did Ace Magashule approve this statement? I don’t think so. The real ANC will never remove PP.” 

Thulani Maphosa (@thulanimaphosa1), who refers to himself on his Twitter account as a “Volunteer of the African National Congress” wrote: “If the @MYANC was as enthusiastic in getting the land back as it is with the removal of the @PublicProtector we would be heading in the right direction as a country but then they care about what their white masters instruct them.” 

@velingobese_ZA tweeted: “You are changing the rules to remove PP not changing rules to transform the economy, nationalize SARB and Expropriate Land without compensation, you are very compromised because of business and leaders that are part of the ruling class. Aninamahloni (You have no shame).”

Political Bureau