Modise irked by 'out of order' Mkhwebane, wants inquiry into Public Protector's fitness to hold office fast-tracked

Thandi Modise.
Thandi Modise.
Deon Raath/City Press

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise wants the process to set up an inquiry into public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office fast-tracked, the Sunday Times has reported.

Justice Committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe was reportedly told by Modise during a parliamentary programming committee meeting that Parliament "will not be stopped" with preparations for the inquiry. 

This follows a letter from Mkhwebane that no rules exist for her "impeachment", following the DA-initiated bid for the probe into her fitness to hold office.

READ: Mkhwebane tells Parliament to 'back off', threatens court action - report

In the letter, Mkhwebane reportedly threatened to take Modise to court, but at the meeting, Modise objected to her 'hectoring' tone. 

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen had alerted Parliament that there were no mechanisms in place to deal with all Chapter 9 institutions. 

Modise criticised the Justice Committee for moving "a bit slowly" in determining whether it could develop rules or not.

She told Magwanishe to either make a recommendation on how to proceed or take the matter to the rules committee to adopt a mechanism to do so. 

Modise reportedly found Mkhwebane's tone "out of order". 

Two weeks ago the DA called on Parliament to expedite removal proceedings against Mkhwebane after her remedial actions against President Cyril Ramaphosa were set aside, pending a judicial review of her report.

READ | Removing Busisiwe Mkhwebane as Public Protector is not so easy – DA

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria granted Ramaphosa an interim interdict to stay Mkhwebane's remedial action in her investigation into an R500 000 donation to his ANC presidential campaign from Bosasa boss Gavin Watson.

Mkhwebane did not oppose Ramaphosa's application for the interim relief but indicated she would oppose his application to have the report set aside.

Steenhuisen had on two occasions unsuccessfully attempted to have the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services institute removal proceedings against Mkhwebane.

He said the high court ruling raised questions about Mkhwebane's fitness for office and was a “further blow to her credibility”.

Mkhwebane has lost a series of court battles challenging some of the reports released by her office. A few involved cost orders in which she was found personally liable for some of the legal costs.

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