Political parties get extension to make nominations for public protector removal panel

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Feb 7, 2020

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Cape Town - National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has extended the deadline for political parties to nominate people to serve on the panel on the removal of the Public Protector.

This comes after Modise also confirmed she will oppose an application by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to challenge Parliament's process to remove her from office.

Modise said Parliament was within its powers to remove the public protector. 

Political parties had until the close of business on Friday to send a list of their preferred candidates to the Speaker to sit on the panel. 

But now Modise has granted an extension until next Wednesday.

Modise said the extension follows a request by political parties.

“The National Assembly Rules about removing Chapter 9 office bearers specify that the three-person panel must be fit and proper South Africans who collectively have the necessary legal and other competencies to conduct the assessment. A judge may be appointed but the Speaker must make such an appointment in consultation with the Chief Justice,” said Parliament's spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo

Mothapo also said Modise would oppose the application by Mkhwebane to challenge her removal from office. .

“The Speaker will oppose the application in defence of Parliament’s powers, as provided for in the Constitution. The Constitution states that these institutions are accountable to the National Assembly,” said Mothapo.

Meanwhile, Cope announced on Friday that it had nominated Judge President of the North Gauteng High Court, Dunstan Mlambo, to serve on the panel.

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo. File Picture: ANA

This is the second party that has officially confirmed the names of the judges it would want to sit on that independent panel to weigh the evidence against Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The DA had earlier nominated judges Robert Nugent and Jeanette Traverso.

In the same breath, Mkhwebane launched her high court application on Thursday. Modise confirmed they had been served with the papers.

The matter is still to be heard in the High Court.

Political Bureau

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