DA welcomes news that Mkhwebane’s disgraceful tenure as Public Protector may soon end

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes today’s announcement by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, that she has accepted the DA’s motion on the Public Protector’s removal.

We have long held that Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane is not a fit and proper person to hold the office of Public Protector, and that she must be removed from her position.

Last year, the rules committee of the National Assembly adopted a set of rules that guide the process by which Parliament must deal with the removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions, a task that it is empowered to do by section 194 of the Constitution.

In terms of the new rules, the process must start with a substantive motion in the National Assembly, after which the Speaker must forward the motion and its supporting documentation to an independent panel to assess if there are grounds for setting up a special section 194 committee to consider the removal of the person in question.

The Speaker has already written to parties to nominate persons to sit on the independent panel, and we are therefore encouraged that the process will move ahead with appropriate urgency.

The DA opposed the appointment of Advocate Mkhwebane from the beginning, and her three-year tenure to date has proved that we were correct in arguing that she is not a fit and proper person to occupy the office of Public Protector.

We hope that the disgraceful chapter that was Mkhwebane’s rule at the helm of a once-proud Chapter 9 institution will soon come to an end, and that we can begin the work anew to build a strong a capable Public Protector’s office that upholds the rule of law and protect South Africans from state abuses.