Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane failed to block Parliament from continuing with the process of setting up an inquiry into her fitness. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane failed to block Parliament from continuing with the process of setting up an inquiry into her fitness. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Tough week for Busisiwe Mkhwebane as process to remove her from office kicks off

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Mar 20, 2021

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Cape Town - It was a long week in Parliament with Deputy President David Mabuza facing questions and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni asked questions about the fiscal framework.

But the voting on the motion for an inquiry into Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane moved into high gear with a total of 275 MPs backing the motion and 40 objecting to it.

Mkhwebane was under fire from some of the opposition parties during the debate on the vote on Tuesday.

But the EFF and its leader Julius Malema promised to take the matter to court saying the process followed by Parliament was flawed.

The divisions in the ANC have been glaring for a while with some of its MPs publicly refusing to vote in support of the motion.

But ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said Mkhwebane would have an opportunity to give her side of the story when she appears before the inquiry that will investigate her fitness to hold office.

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe addressed a special caucus ahead of the vote in the National Assembly saying party MPs should support it.

In a week of drama the vote in the National Assembly has now given the go ahead for the establishment of the inquiry.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa did not support the motion and said it was crafted to suit the removal of Mkhwebane.

The ATM rejected the motion saying Parliament should have waited for another matter still being heard in court.

The decision on Mkhwebane also came on the day the Constitutional Court ruled against her in an application for direct access to appeal a Western Cape High Court judgment for Parliament to constitute an inquiry.

Mkhwebane failed to block Parliament to continue with the process of setting up an inquiry.

“In its order, dated March 10, 2021, the Constitutional Court said it had concluded that the application for direct leave to appeal should be dismissed as no case had been made out for direct leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court,” said Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

He said the Western Cape High Court made its decision last October when it rejected Mkhwebane’s attempt to interdict Parliament from going ahead with the inquiry.

“The court held that the impeachment process of an office bearer of a Chapter 9 institution is a serious mechanism for accountability of these office bearers under the Constitution and that a court should not lightly interfere with such processes,” said Mothapo.

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