Busisiwe Mkhwebane

Cape Town - The official opposition is still pushing for Parliament to remove Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office after it accused her of bungling her reports.

But Parliament has said the issue of Mkhwebane will be discussed in the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services next Tuesday.

The matter has been dragging for months, after the DA complained that Mkhwebane had to be removed because of her blunders.

The DA lodged a complaint with Parliament that Mkhwebane be removed because of her poor reports in relation to her findings on the Absa/Bankorp matter and to amending the Constitution.

She was heavily criticised for her report after Speaker Baleka Mbete and the government challenged it in court. DA chief whip John Steenhuisen told the programming committee that it appeared there was no intention by the justice committee to finalise the matter.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu denied this and said the issue of Mkhwebane would be before the committee.

The justice committee said yesterday that Mkhwebane would not be at the meeting, but the matter would be up for discussion by MPs next Tuesday. The committee would discuss the response filed by Mkhwebane a few months ago.

Steenhuisen had made a number of allegations against Mkhwebane saying they warrant that she should be removed from office.

Mthembu said the matter had not been finalised by the justice committee as alleged by Steenhuisen.

“The matter is scheduled for discussion, including the response of the Public Protector next week. The matter is attended to and not left in abeyance. The portfolio committee on justice has sought the response of the public protector,” said Mthembu.

Steenhuisen said the committee was supposed to have dealt with the matter at its meeting this week, but it was not on the agenda.

He said it was untenable that the justice committee had not dealt with the matter. He said this issue had to be concluded before the end of the term of Parliament, before the elections.

“They can’t leave it out because there are other avenues I can exercise,” said Steenhuisen.

Spokesperson for the Public Protector, Oupa Segalwe, said yesterday that Mkhwebane was not aware of the committee meeting.

Mkhwebane was slammed for her report into the Absa/Bankorp matter after she tried to change the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank.

She submitted a response to the justice committee in August in which she said Steenhuisen had no basis to call for her removal.

When the DA first brought the motion in the committee last November, the ANC supported it. But it later backtracked.

Members of the ANC in the committee at the time were divided on the issue. 

Additional reporting from African News Agency (ANA)

Political Bureau