Parliament’s Mkhwebane inquiry is still on
Cape Town - Parliament is engaging Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng over the panel that will consider if there is a case for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to answer before forging ahead with an inquiry to remove her from office.
This comes after it emerged that some of the nominees to the panel that will consider prima facie case against Mkhwebane were judges.
Briefing the National Assembly programme committee on Thursday, Secretary Masibulele Xaso said Speaker Thandi Modise has applied herself to the names that were submitted by parties earlier this year.
"The Speaker has made a decision on the names of the panel. However there is one step that is remaining because the panelists involve a judge or two.
"The Speaker has to consult with the Chief Justice. That is what the rules require," he said.
"Once the Chief Justice has expressed his view on the matter, the Speaker will be in a position to name the panel," Xaso said.
He also said it was not advisable to go public with the names of the nominees.
Xaso said the panelists were expected to start their work on November 1 and finish within 30 days.
"The process is receiving attention that is required. Panelists will be asked to declare that they have a conflict of interest in the process," he said when responding to one question from the MPs.
Modise said the process to appoint the panel had been slow after parties were asked to nominate afresh when some nominees withdrew in the first round.
"Among the first names, exciting as they were, as we went one by one we picked and they also declared their conflict of interest.
“We sifted out and we arrived at a particular group of names," she said.
"Some of them pulled out because they were getting cases affecting either parties that are involved," Modise said.
Modise said among the nominees were senior counsels and judges.
She assured that the process to remove Mkhwebane would get underway as soon as they cleared matters with Mogoeng.
She however noted that there had been tensions since the DA called for Mkhwebane's impeachment.
"I am supposed to.be the enemy of the Public Protector and I don't know why. I have absolutely no interest. I live by what I said earlier.
“I try to be as honest as I can in both private and public life," said Modise, who escaped personal cost order when Mkhwebane lost her interdict application.