Act swiftly and fearlessly against Mkhwebane, National Assembly urged

2019-07-26 22:25
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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The Helen Suzman Foundation is the latest in an ever-growing list of civil society organisations and political formations to call on Parliament to expedite the process to conduct an inquiry into Busisiwe Mkhwebane's fitness to continue in her role as Public Protector.

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the National Assembly, a representative of law firm Webber Wentzel, on behalf of the foundation, explicitly calls on Parliament "...for an expedited vote for the removal of Ms Busisiwe Mkhwebane from the high office of Public Protector."

According to the foundation, the call follows the handing down of the recent judgment of the Constitutional Court in the Public Protector vs South African Reserve Bank matter.

In its judgment, the court confirmed the punitive costs order awarded by the High Court against her personally. 

A statement by the foundation continues that "...this judgment, along with other damning High Court judgments, illustrates the ways in which Ms Mkhwebane has been found to 'lack integrity', 'competence', 'honesty' and 'independence'. These judgments all point to the indisputable conclusion that Ms Mkhwebane is not fit and proper to hold office as the Public Protector."

It continues to call on Speaker Thandi Modise, to take heed of the "accumulated adverse judicial findings" and to act swiftly to remove Mkwhebane, adding that "...each day that Ms Mkhwebane remains in office is damaging to the integrity of the office."   

In the letter to the Speaker, the foundation states that "our courts have now repeatedly confirmed that the institution of the Public Protector and its constitutional promise are now being continuously undermined and irreparably harmed by the incumbent bearer of that office".

"Under Section 194 [of the Constitution], the National Assembly is required to act swiftly, lawfully and fearlessly in acting as the guardian of our democracy to remove Ms Mkwhebane on the grounds of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence," the letter reads.  

News24 reported on Thursday that non-profit organisation Corruption Watch had also asked Parliament to urgently consider a request to probe Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office, following the Constitutional Court's scathing judgment against her this week.

The Helen Suzman Foundation joins a growing number of organisations calling for Mkhwebane to get the chop. The DA, the South African Communist Party, Cope, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and Accountability Now have all expressed concerns,
News24 reported.

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