Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town - Parliament’s meeting to discuss Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s scathing response on why she should not be removed has hit another snag following the appointment of new committee chairperson.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services was supposed to meet on Wednesday, and discuss the 25 pages response from Mkhwebane.

The meeting could not proceed as members were informed that former committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga was discharged from his duties, and replaced by Vincent Smith.

The committee resolved that the meeting be postponed and allow the newly appointed chairperson an opportunity to familiarise himself with the matters before the committee.

“I will be just ticking the boxes if I preside over a meeting of which I have not even looked at the documentation. I propose that the meeting be postponed to familiarise myself with the proceedings.

“To preside over this meeting when I have no knowledge of the matters before it will be a bit impractical. We will ask this very committee to set up the same agenda as soon as possible,” said Smith.

The ANC’s Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said Motshekga would be deployed to the joint standing committee on financial management of parliament.

Motshekga has clashed with ANC MP in the committee on the removal of Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane’s office has been under scrutiny after a committee overseeing her functions received a formal complaint form DA MP John Steenhuisen, casting doubt on her fitness to hold office.

The committee also received a scathing response to intentions to remove her, in which she charged there were no grounds to oust her.

Mkhwebane slammed the reasons advanced by the DA for her removal and demanded a public apology in a 25-page written response to the committee.

However, MPs across the political spectrum say the outcome of the North Gauteng High Court judgment, which set aside her report has cast more uncertainty on whether she is fit to hold the office of the public protector.

Political Bureau