Today, 13 June 2018, the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services met to consider a request by the Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance to remove the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, after months of delay. This follows several formal requests to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to expedite these proceedings.
The DA has now finally had a formal opportunity to present its case for having Adv Mkhwebane removed from office. Through her conduct she has demonstrated that she is unable to act lawfully, she consistently acts without regard to procedural fairness and that her findings are patently unreasonable.
The overwhelming evidence presented against the Public Protector has compelled the committee to take action. Having heard the submissions of the Chief Whip of the DA, the Chairperson, Mathole Motshekga, has now resolved to allow Adv Mkwhebane the opportunity to reply, whereupon the Committee will decide on whether or not to hold an enquiry.
What is unfortunate, however, is that the Chairperson and the ANC refused to commit to firm deadlines for Adv Mkwhebane’s submissions. Instead, South Africans have now been left with a flimsy commitment that she will be afforded a “reasonable time” by which she will be expected to respond to the submissions against her.
This is yet another delay tactic to ostensibly protect the patently compromised Public Protector from being held to account. The DA will now ensure that Adv Mkwhebane submits her responses to the Committee as soon as reasonably possible. The DA will continue the fight to protect the integrity of this essential institution of our democracy.