Modise To Announce Decision On Process To Remove Busisiwe Mkhwebane Next Week

Thandi Modise then gave the go-ahead for a possible inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office – but then the public protector then launched a legal bid with the Western Cape High Court to halt the proceedings.

Modise To Announce Decision On Process To Remove Busisiwe Mkhwebane Next Week-SurgeZirc SA
Busisiwe Mkhwebane/Photo File: IOL

Parliament has said that Speaker Thandi Modise has received a report from the independent panel established to look into whether there is prima facie evidence pointing to Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane having committed misconduct.

“The Panel has since completed its work and submitted its report to the Speaker. The Speaker expressed her appreciation to the panellists for their dedicated service. The report will be made available in the week of 1 March 2021,” Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.

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Modise had announced in November 2020 that she appointed three legal heads who would determine whether there were merits to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) call for Mkhwebane’s removal from office.

The three-member panel includes Constitutional Court Judge, Justice Bess Nkabinde (who leads it) as well as advocates Dumisa Ntsebeza and Johan de Waal. The DA in Parliament launched another motion to have Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane removed. Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone claimed she was not fit for office due to being guilty of “misconduct” and “incompetence” on several charges including the SARB and Estina Dairy Farm probes.

“Mkhwebane’s tenure as public protector dirties the once proud reputation of this vital Chapter 9 institution of holding the Executive to account without fear or favour. Under her guidance, the institution has suffered blow after blow in South African courts and leaves a clear impression of toothlessness and ineptitude,” Mazzone said.

Thandi Modise then gave the go-ahead for a possible inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office – but then the public protector then launched a legal bid with the Western Cape High Court to halt the proceedings.

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In October 2020, the court dismissed her application for an interim order to stop National Modise from pressing ahead with the motion. The public protector then moved to file an application for leave to appeal the judgement, which was denied.

Mkhwebane has since turned to the Constitutional Court.

It has undoubtedly been a difficult time for the public protector, having lost several legal bids in court. She is currently on a three-month sabbatical, which Modise granted in January 2021.

However this was on the condition that she would avail herself to the parliamentary process seeking to remove her, should the need arise.

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