Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane during a media briefing at her offices earlier this year. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Speaker Thandi Modise has been asked by MPs to set up an independent panel to determine if there was prima facie evidence against the public protector.

Members of the sub-committee on rules agreed that senior parliamentary officials and legal services must also look at what constitutes a removal.

The DA had tabled a motion that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane must be removed from office because of several scathing judgments against her.

Chairperson of the sub-committee Doris Dlakude, who is also the ANC deputy chief whip, said they were not making a decision on Mkhwebane.

“We are dealing with the crafting of rules. We are not a decision-making body,” said Dlakude.

She said parties agreed that Modise must appoint this independent panel of experts.

However, she warned that the panel must not only comprise people with the legal background but people with other backgrounds including finances. This was based on the fact that the new rules will not only deal with the removal of the public protector, but any head of a Chapter 9 institution.

Dlakude said they needed various skills for members of the panel to be able to determine the next course for Parliament. “The panel must assess the existence of evidence or otherwise. The panel will not deal with the inquiry, it will assess the evidence. After that it will report to the Speaker and the Speaker will take that report to the House,” she said.

It would be at that point that the House would decide whether there should be an inquiry into Mkhwebane.

Politics Bureau