Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - The justice committee is on Tuesday discussing the request by the official opposition to remove Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen wrote to Speaker Thandi Modise a few weeks ago and the latter referred the matter to the justice committee to take a decision.

This is the third time the DA has tabled a motion to remove the public protector. The first two attempts failed because there was no support from the ruling party.

However, the committee is meeting again on Tuesday to decide on the request. But the matter is likely to be referred to the rules committee to take a decision.

At the meeting of the programming committee last week Modise said they need to draw up a process to be followed when deciding on the issue of removal.

This followed the interdict of Parliament by former senior prosecutor in the National Prosecuting Authority Nomgcobo Jiba in the Western Cape High Court last week against a process to remove her.

Political parties at the meeting agreed that the rules committee would need to come up with a mechanism to deal with such matters.

MPs said while they acknowledged they want to hear both sides on the issue there needs to be a process to be followed.

The rules committee can then draw up the rules to be followed by the justice committee or any other committee on the removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions.

The DA has been pushing since November last year to get Mkhwebane removed.

It has mentioned several court judgments against Mkhwebane as the ground for her removal. But Mkhwebane has defended herself saying she has done nothing wrong.

She has been caught up in litigation with President Cyril Ramaphosa over his funding campaign for the Nasrec conference in 2017.

Mkhwebane is involved in another legal wrangle with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan over the rogue unit.

The court has also issued a cost order judgment against her.

Civil society and the SACP are among those who have been calling for her removal.

However, this is not the only issue the committee is dealing with. MPs will also discuss the issue of replacing deputy public protector Kevin Malunga.

Malunga’s term of office expires in December and the committee must start a process to find a suitable candidate to take over the position.

This would include nominations of candidates and the committee will conduct the shortlisting and interviewing of candidates.

After this process MPs will pick a successful candidate to assume the position before the deadline in December. 

Political Bureau