Ace Magashule supporters push back against process to impeach Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
PHOTO: Jan Gerber, News24
  • The DA plans to lobby support from the ANC for a process to have the Public Protector impeached, but some members of the governing party are having none of it.
  • The ANC Women's League and the MKMVA believe it's a plot by supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says "principled" ANC MPs would not vote in support of a motion to remove her.

The DA's intention to lobby support from the ANC caucus for a parliamentary process that would lead to the impeachment of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has raised the ire of some members of the governing party.

READ | National Assembly to decide on 16 March whether to institute inquiry into Mkhwebane's fitness for office

"No army in the world allows soldiers to be commanded by the enemy general. Therefore, we don't expect any member of the ANC to get marching orders from the DA benches regarding this motion," ANC Women's League secretary-general Meokgo Matuba said.

The league is one of the ANC formations that believes the attempt to get rid of Mkhwebane is part of a plot against her. The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has expressed a similar opinion.

Matuba said the "attack" against the Public Protector was due to her belief that the South African Reserve Bank should be owned and controlled by the state, and for her Absa/Bankorp investigation.

The league also believes that supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa were irked by her investigation into his campaign funds.

READ | John Steenhuisen: 'DA will not go into a coalition with the ANC in its current form, but...

This week, an opposition MP told News24 that the DA's intention, expressed by party leader John Steenhuisen, to vote with Ramaphosa supporters in favour of a process to impeach Mkhwebane "compromises even Cyril because it raises negative criticism".

He said Ramaphosa's detractors would use this to rally support for their viewpoint by claiming that Ramaphosa was working for "white monopoly capital" – an expression used by the supporters of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule for established big business.

READ | Panel recommends Parliament institute removal proceedings against Busisiwe Mkhwebane

The Sunday Times reported that Magashule called on ANC MPs this week to oppose any attempts to impeach Mkhwebane, after a report by an independent panel appointed by Parliament found that impeachment proceedings should be instituted against her.

Magashule told the publication that "principled" ANC MPs would not vote in support of the DA's motion.

Removing Mkhwebane requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament, or 267 votes, while the motion to hold an inquiry into her fitness to hold office needs 50% plus one, or 201 MPs' votes.

The ANC has 249 National Assembly seats, while the DA has 89 and the rest are shared by a number of smaller opposition parties.

READ | Battle to oust Busisiwe Mkhwebane

For any motion against Mkhwebane to pass, at least 50 ANC MPs would therefore have to vote in favour of it.

Several ANC MPs told City Press they would never support a DA motion, even if the ANC's national executive committee (NEC), dominated by Ramaphosa's backers, decided otherwise.

The NEC supported Mkhwebane's appointment and it has not taken a position to the contrary.

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