Johannesburg - The chairperson of the Section 194 committee, Richard Dyantyi, whose committee found advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane unfit to hold office, has denied that the work of the committee prejudiced the suspended public protector.
On Monday, the National Assembly debated the Section 194 report, which recently recommended that Mkhwebane be removed.
Dyantyi said Mkhwebane was not denied the opportunity to state her case by the committee.
"We are confident that advocate Mkhwebane was not denied a chance for legal representation as she claims. To the contrary, the committee used its best endeavours to assist her in having access to state-supported legal advice. This process culminated in a report that shows incontrovertible evidence that advocate Mkhwebane conducted herself poorly and is incompetent, not withstanding the noise that surrounded the work of this committee," he said.
EFF treasurer general, Omphile Maotwe, said the party rejected the consideration of the report on the removal of Mkhwebane from the office of Public Protector.
"We reject the report, and we reject the political witch-hunt initiated by the DA and supported by the ANC to punish Advocate Mkhwebane in order to protect Mr. Ramaphosa."
"We reiterate our stance that we reserve our right to take this report and the illegal adoption of this report by parliament on judicial review, and we invite all interested parties to join us in doing so, including Adv. Mkhwebane and all justice-loving individuals in this country," Maotwe said.
Brett Herron of the Good Party said that even with a heavy heart, the party felt procedurally and morally obliged to vote for Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s impeachment.
Herron said Mkhwebane’s legal strategy not to respond to evidence placed before her at the inquiry had denied the country the opportunity to hear her perspectives.
"Mkhwebane failed to meet numerous committee deadlines or make final closing arguments pertaining to the allegations against her. Despite the Office of the Public Protector allocating R4 million in additional funds to support her legal fees, Mkhwebane was unable to secure legal counsel," Herron said.
He said Mkhwebane also rejected the legal counsel arranged for her by the Solicitor-General, adding that members of the Section 194 inquiry committee only heard one side of the story.
"This inquiry was an opportunity for the suspended public protector to explain her version, but by choosing to remain silent, she left committee members no legal grounds not to recommend her impeachment," he said.
Parliament requires 267 members to support the motion to be able to remove Mkhwebane, with the ANC, DA, ACDP, and Freedom Front Plus all set to vote for her removal.