Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has approved a request that parliament initiate proceedings for the removal of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.  

In 2019 parliament adopted rules for the removal of the heads of a chapter nine institutions, including the public protector.

It had been agreed that the bid for removal should be in the form of a substantive motion submitted to the National Assembly.

The speaker is responsible for instituting an inquiry process, which the DA has repeatedly pushed for after multiple courts made adverse findings impugning Mkhwebane’s honesty, competence and impartiality.

Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo on Friday said Modise had approved the motion received from the DA chief whip.

The draft substantive motion for the removal of Mkhwebane would be considered in terms of the new rules.

The new rules provide for any MP to initiate, through a substantive motion, proceedings for a section 194 inquiry.

If the speaker is satisfied that the motion meets all requirements, she must refer the motion and any supporting documents for preliminary assessment to an independent panel.

The speaker must also inform the National Assembly and the president of this referral.  

“Having approved the motion, the speaker has thus written to political parties to put forward proposed nominees to serve on the panel made up of fit and proper South African citizens,” Mothapo said.

“The rules stipulate that the panel must collectively have the necessary legal and other competencies and experience to conduct the assessment. A judge may be appointed to the panel but the speaker must make such an appointment in consultation with the chief justice.”

He said parties have been given until February 7 to submit their recommended nominees, after which the panel will be appointed. 

Once appointed the panel will have 30 days to conduct and finalise a preliminary assessment on the motion proposing an inquiry and make recommendations to the speaker. 

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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