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ANALYSIS | Puppet Protector? Why Mkhwebane has to allay questions about her independence

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane as her impeachment hearing broke for lunch on Thursday.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane as her impeachment hearing broke for lunch on Thursday.
Jan Gerber

As suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane begins to tell her side of the story to the Section 194 Inquiry, a major issue she will need to address are questions about her independence, which is constitutionally required, writes parliamentary reporter Jan Gerber.

The Constitution puts it unequivocally: the Chapter 9 bodies, including the Public Protector, must be impartial and independent.

"These institutions are independent, and subject only to the Constitution and the law, and they must be impartial and must exercise their powers and perform their functions without fear, favour or prejudice," reads Section 181(2) of the Constitution.

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