New deadline for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane panel
Cape Town - Political parties represented in Parliament will have to make fresh nominations of persons to serve on a panel of experts to look into the motion calling for the removal from office of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
This after National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise was satisfied that the new motion from the DA calling for the inquiry complied with parliamentary rules.
"The Speaker has, therefore, written to political parties represented in the National Assembly, inviting them, afresh, to nominate suitable people to serve on an external panel of experts," parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said on Wednesday.
The parties have until 6 March to submit names to the Speaker.
On Tuesday, the national legislature revealed that DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone withdrew its motion and submitted another afresh last week when it made a submission of evidence for the pending inquiry.
Mothapo had said the parliamentary rules allowed an MP who has given notice of a motion to withdraw it at any time before being called upon to move the motion in the National Assembly.
Now that the new motion has been accepted, the next step will be to establish an independent panel of experts to make a preliminary assessment of the motion.
The three-member panel must be fit and proper South Africans who, collectively, have the legal and other skills and experience to conduct a preliminary assessment of the motion, proposing the inquiry.
It has to conduct and finalise its preliminary assessment and make a recommendation to Modise within 30 days of its appointment.
Mazzone said they welcomed the Modise's decision to accept their fresh motion for the initiation of removal proceedings against Mkhwebane.
"To put the best possible case before the independent panel that will evaluate whether or not grounds for removal exist, we submitted a fresh motion last week, and we are happy that the process continues without delay," said Mazzone.
She also said that since submitting the initial motion last December, new evidence came to light that strengthened their case.
Mazzone was adamant that it was of the utmost importance and in the interests of justice and the rule of law that the position of Public Protector was filled by a person who was indisputably fit and proper.
She said her party would put forward candidates for the independent panel as soon as possible.
"We hope that South Africans may soon be rid of a seemingly politically captured Public Protector, who has not done her high office, or the South Africans she is meant to serve, any justice," she said.