Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Firing of PP and replacing her deputy top of MPs’ agenda

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Aug 26, 2019

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Cape Town - Considerations to axe Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane are set to top the agenda of Parliament’s justice and correctional services portfolio committee when it meets on Tuesday.

Mkhwebane’s removal is to be discussed along with her deputy, Kevin Malunga, whose term expires in December.

This comes after the National Assembly was forced to suspend the consideration of the removal of advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, who approached the court for an interdict to stop a final decision being made on her position at the National Prosecuting Authority.

On Thursday, the National Assembly programme committee heard that because of the interdict, the justice and correctional services portfolio committee has to revise its programme.

The latest schedule of parliamentary meetings states that the committee will tomorrow consider the request from DA chief whip John Steenhuisen to start a parliamentary process to remove Mkhwebane from office.

In May, Steenhuisen asked Speaker Thandi Modise to start removal proceedings against Mkhwebane, after the North Gauteng High Court set aside her report into the Estina dairy project.

But, Mkhwebane has since threatened legal action if Parliament went ahead with the process to remove her from office, and argued that the national legislature has no rules on the procedure to effect her removal.

At its meeting last week, the National Assembly programme committee agreed on the need to formulate a process on the removal of Mkhwebane, after Steenhuisen wrote to Modise highlighting the absence of a process.

Steenhuisen said there was a need to create a firewall process, after the House was interdicted by Jiba.

Modise said Steenhuisen’s letter had showed that there was no mechanism to deal with issues of Chapter 9 institutions.

On Tuesday the committee will also be briefed on the appointment of a new deputy public protector.

The committee was earlier this month tasked by Modise to consider and report on a letter she sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa, informing him of the expiry of the term of office of Deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga in December, and initiating a process of recruiting a new deputy.

The matter was briefly discussed at a meeting last week when committee secretary Vhonani Ramaano informed the committee about Modise’s letter.

Ramaano said the committee would have to discuss what process to follow when finding a replacement for Malunga.

The appointment would need to be advertised for the committee to shortlist and interview the prospective candidates.

Political Bureau

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