Parliament - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has survived yet another attack on her office as Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services adopted a draft report which opposed her removal.
Mkhwebane’s office has been under scrutiny after a committee overseeing her functions received a formal complaint form DA MP John Steenhuisen, casting doubt on her fitness to hold office.
Committee chairperson Modipoane Mothapo said instituting proceedings to remove the public protector would be premature, with consideration to court judges on Mkhwebane.
“It is the National Assembly that must determine that the public protector’s conduct renders her unfit to hold office. This discretion cannot be replaced by the court’s view, however pertinent.
“The committee noted the legal proceedings related to the judgement are ongoing. As such, the committee is of the view that it would be premature for removal proceedings to be instituted against the public protector,” said Mothapo.
The committee also received scathing response to intentions to remove her, in which she charged there were no grounds to oust her.
Mkhwebane slammed the reasons advanced by the DA for her removal, and demanded a public apology in a 25-page written response to the committee.
The reasons included, amongst others, adverse court rulings against her, including the finding that she overstepped her mandate when she recommended the Constitution be changed to amend the Reserve Bank's mandate.
However, MPs across political spectrum say the outcome of the North Gauteng High Court judgment, which set aside her report has cast more uncertainty on whether she is fit to hold the office of the public protector.
The DA did not vote with the ANC and EFF on the adoption of the draft report.
The EFF had previously supported the DA in its quest to remove Mkhwebane. They however changed their tune and voted with the ANC to adopt the report.