Parliament to push ahead with removal of Public Protector proceedings

The DA notes that our request for Parliament to initiate proceedings to remove the Public Protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in terms of Section 194 of the Constitution, has been tabled and referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services for consideration.
We now call on the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, and the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Lesetja Kganyago, to appear before the committee to detail their objections to the Public Protector’s deeply flawed ABSA/Bankorp report.
An affidavit filed by Gigaba, in the North Gauteng High Court this week, describes the report as “manifestly lacking in logic” and notes that Mkhwebane “reached conclusions of fact and law without any proper appreciation and sound analysis of the documents that were before her.” Kganyago previously noted, in the SARB court application to have the report’s recommendations set aside, that “[t]he only explanation that the Public Protector has offered for her clearly unlawful conduct exposes her own lack of competency.”
The DA contends that the conduct of Adv. Mkhwebane over the past ten months has demonstrated that she is not fit to occupy the important position of Public Protector. Her conduct includes but is certainly not limited to:

  • Grossly over-reaching her powers by recommending that the Constitution be amended to alter the mandate of the SARB;
  • Grossly over-reaching her powers by dictating to Parliament how and when legislation should be amended;
  • Showing a poor understanding both of the law as well as her own powers in relation thereto; and
  • Sacrificing her independence and impartiality by consulting with the Presidency and the State Security Agency on remedial action to be recommended in her report

Indeed, the North Gauteng High Court found, on 15 August 2017, that the Public protector had “unconstitutionally and irrationally” intruded on Parliament’s exclusive authority and that she had gone about crafting her recommendations in the ABSA/Bankorp report in a “procedurally unfair” manner.
The DA was the only party that opposed Mkhwebane’s appointment as Public Protector. We hope that this time around the ANC and other opposition parties will listen carefully to our reasons for having her removed.

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