Cape Town – The parliamentary process to dismiss public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is one more step towards the start.
This became evident earlier this week when the National Assembly announced the creation of a special committee to investigate to determine whether the charges were viable and report back to the House.
Parliament spokesman Moloto Mothapo said in a statement that the 26-member committee was made up of the 14 political parties represented in the National Assembly.
“Eleven will be voting members of the committee and another 15 will be non-voting members,” Mothapo said.
The ANC deployed, among others, Deputy Chief Whip Doris Dlakude, Qubudile Dyantyi, Commission Chairs Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Mondli Gungubele and Philly Mapulane (alternate) as well as Judy Hermans, Bekizwe Simon Nkosi and Teiliswa Mgweba (alternate )
The official opposition sent Annelie Lotriet and Leon Schreiber.
The EFF has deployed its leader Julius Malema, the IFP Zandile Majozi and Freedom Front Plus its leader Piet Groenewald.
Other members of the committee, who will not have the right to vote, include Bantu Holomisa from UDM, Munzoor Shaik-Emam from NFP, PAC leader Mzwanele Nyhontso, Mogamad Hendricks from Al Jama-ah and Thandiswa Marawu from ATM, which supports Mkhwebane.
The recent vote on whether the committee should be formed may indicate how things will play out when the committee is done.
The establishment of the committee easily secured a majority vote when a total of 275 MPs supported the motion and 40 opposed.
The EFF, UDM and ATM did not support the motion and the DA voted in favor with the ANC and other small parties.
This is because Malema threatened to take the case to court because he felt that the process followed by Parliament was flawed.
President Cyril Ramaphosa could probably suspend Mkhwebane who had been on sabbatical in recent months.
This will mean that her deputy Kholeka Gcaleka will occupy the fort as she has been doing for the past several months.
The indictment of Mkhwebane has long occurred, the former chief whip of the AD, John Steenhuisen, who had asked, in 2017, the then president, Baleka Mbete, to open an investigation.
The case was referred to the Justice and Corrections portfolio committee for review after the ANC lobbied for a resolution on the investigation to be conducted by the committee rather than an ad hoc committee. which was preferred by President Mathole Motshekga.
In 2019, Steenhuisen again called on the newly constituted national legislature to initiate remand proceedings against Mkhwebane after the North Gauteng High Court quashed its report on the Vrede Dairy Project.
When Modise set the process in motion, Mkhwebane threatened legal action if Parliament proceeded with the process to remove her from office.
She argued that the national legislator did not have rules on the procedure to be followed to proceed with his dismissal as it did for bailiffs or the president.
But that did not stop Modise from referring the proposal to remove Mkhwebane from his post at the Justice and Corrections portfolio committee.
The processes that followed included the formulation of rules for the dismissal of the head of Chapter Nine Hunches, Mkhwebane’s attempt to ban Parliament, and the appointment of a three-member group chaired by Judge Bess Nkabinde after l current DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone submitted another motion with a litany of allegations in February of last year.
The panel that conducted an incompetence and misconduct assessment concluded that Mkhwebane had a case to answer.
The Québec Ombudsman may be dismissed from his duties upon finding of “fault, incapacity or incompetence” of a portfolio committee, followed by the adoption of a resolution by two-thirds of the National Assembly.
MEPs will decide the future of Mkhwebane
SourceMEPs will decide the future of Mkhwebane