Parliament should move swiftly to adopt rules to remove the Public Protector

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
10 Sep 2019 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is encouraged by the decision of the Rules Committee today to refer our draft rules for the removal of the Public Protector or other Chapter 9 heads in terms of section 194 of the Constitution to a sub-committee on rules for their consideration.

The DA submitted these draft rules to the Speaker’s office in August this year in order to assist Parliament to move swiftly to set up a proper process for removals in terms of section 194.

The DA believes that the matter of Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s continued occupancy of the office of Public Protector is something that needs to be dealt with urgently by Parliament, the body constitutionally mandated to consider her removal. She has disgraced the Office with the release of several deeply concerning reports that demonstrate her poor understanding both of the law as well as of her mandate as Public Protector, and has shown, repeatedly, that she is not a fit and proper person to occupy the position of Public Protector.

The DA’s request for Parliament to consider the removal of the Public Protector in terms of section 194 of the Constitution was directed at the Speaker’s office in May 2019 already. Four months have passed since then. For every day that Parliament delays, Advocate Mkhwebane’s destructive path continues to wreak havoc in South Africa’s economy and to weaken the public’s faith in her office, while state officials and bodies are allowed to tread roughshod over the rights and dreams of ordinary South Africans.

The DA however fully understand the need to marry urgency with a thorough and due process. We have in fact obtained a legal opinion advising that rules be adopted to govern the process of removal of a Chapter 9 head before Parliament considers the removal of Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The DA trusts that the process will continue to move apace but will continue to carefully monitor Parliament’s progress in this regard, so that justice for South Africans are not delayed, and thereby denied.