Parliament to discuss Mkhwebane’s removal from office

(Gallo Images)

(Gallo Images)

The justice portfolio committee in Parliament will hear reasons from the Democratic Alliance on why public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane should be removed from office.

The committee is set to meet on Wednesday morning, when the DA will present its arguments for Mkhwebane’s dismissal.

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen made a request to the committee that Mkhwebane should be sacked after her office released numerous dubious reports which have been taken on judicial review.

In a Pretoria high court judgment in February, which set aside her remedial action in the Bankorp saga, Mkhwebane was described as “biased” and found to “not fully understand her constitutional duty”.

The DA has now added Mkhwebane’s recently released finding that Western Cape Premier Helen Zille violated the Constitution when she tweeted about the virtues of colonialism in March 2017 to its list of the public protector’s offences.

“It is on the basis of her fundamental misunderstanding of the basic principles of the Constitution and her own powers that her findings against the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille are now part of this growing list of abject findings by her,” Steenhuisen said in a press statement on Tuesday.

Steenhuisen added that the DA does not support what Zille said about colonialism but that Mkhwebane’s findings could not be left unchecked.

“We have never condoned the content of Ms Zille’s tweets. However, this ruling has profound constitutional implications which speak to Adv Mkhwebane’s fundamental misunderstanding of the powers of the Public Protector,” Steenhuisen said.

Mkhwebane said the reasons for her finding against Zille were based on her conclusions that Zille failed to act in good faith and in good governance when she posted the tweets, and she failed to act with integrity which Mkhwebane says is required of a public representative in executive office.

The committee is also considering instituting an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office. The DA, however, are adamant that she should simply be sacked.

“The DA will fight to protect this vital constitutionally established institution and ensure that its integrity is restored by removing Adv Mkhwebane,” Steenhuisen said. 

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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