The parliamentary committee that was probing the suspended Public Protector’s fitness to hold office has recommended that she should be removed from office.
The impeachment which began last year has resulted in the majority of political parties in the National Assembly agreeing that Busisiwe Mkhwebane should be removed from office after a draft report was adopted by the committee.
Members of the ANC, DA and ACDP in the committee said on Friday the findings against Mkhwebane were damning.
Chairperson of the inquiry Qubudile Dyantyi said they will send the draft report to Mkhwebane on Saturday to make her comments.
She will be given between seven and 10 days to comment on the draft report before it is tabled in the National Assembly for adoption.
But the EFF threatened to take the report on judicial review.
EFF MP Omphile Maotwe said the process was of a hurried nature to ensure the removal of Mkhwebane.
She accused members of the ANC and DA of coming to the inquiry with a predetermined outcome.
She said the process was designed in such a manner that Mkhwebane would have to be removed from office.
Mkhwebane has not had legal representation for months, after acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka withdrew legal representation for Mkhwebane. But she later made available R4 million in legal fees for Mkhwebane.
“It is clear that the report, in our view, is premature and it demonstrates the determination of you, as the chair, and the entire committee to move with speed to impeach the public protector regardless of the litany of procedural mishaps committed by the committee since inception.
“The hurried nature in which this report has been prepared lays credence to the view held by the public protector that this is a frivolous political process meant to punish a person who is non-compliant with a dominant narrative,” said Maotwe.
She said the public protector has not had legal representation in the committee.
“We reserve our right to take this report on review because it looks like we are going to be beaten by numbers here. It’s not factual. If you continue in the manner you are continuing, you are going to leave with no option as the EFF, but to take this matter on review,” said Maotwe.
But ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude and party MP Bheki Nkosi said this was not a political process, but the work of the committee was informed by the evidence that was presented by witnesses.
Mkhwebane was found guilty by the committee on the basis of the evidence.
The committee started its work a year ago.
Nkosi said they found there was sufficient evidence against Mkhwebane on charges of misconduct and incompetence.
Both Dlakude and Nkosi said the committee had been left with no choice but to agree with the findings against Mkhwebane.
Annelie Lotriet of the DA said this was a thorough process after the committee sifted through a mountain of evidence over the last few months.
Dyantyi said they will now send the draft report to Mkhwebane to respond to it.
He said the majority of the members of the committee support the findings of the report.
The committee will offer Mkhwebane an opportunity to respond to the report. She will be given between seven and 10 days to do it.
The committee will then table its report before the National Assembly in the next few weeks.