The fate of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will be decided today as the justice committee will be discussing the request by the official opposition to remove her from office. Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen wrote to Speaker Thandi Modise a few weeks ago and the latter referred the matter to the justice committee to take a decision.
As at last week, during the programming committee, the speaker of the house said they need to draw up a process to be followed when deciding on the issue of removal; this followed the interdict of Parliament by former senior prosecutor in the National Prosecuting Authority Nomgcobo Jiba in the Western Cape High Court last week against a process to remove her.
The removal of public protector and advocates seems to be a difficult task for the national assembly, as such Political parties at the meeting agreed that the rules committee would need to come up with a mechanism to deal with such matters. MPs said while they acknowledged they want to hear both sides on the issue there needs to be a process to be followed, the rules committee can then draw up the rules to be followed by the justice committee or any other committee on the removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions.
The Democratic Alliance has been pushing since November last year to remove Mkhwebane from office. The DA in its argument for her removal has mentioned several court judgments against the public protector as the ground for her removal, but she has defended herself saying she has done nothing wrong.
This is the third time the DA has tabled a motion to remove the public protector.; The first two attempts failed because there was no support from the ruling party. The Civil society and the SACP are among those who have been calling for her removal.