DA wants Mkhwebane out before she walks aways with a taxpayer-funded R10m paycheck

Issued by Dr Annelie Lotriet – DA Deputy Chief Whip
24 Aug 2023 in News

It’s scandalous that from the start of the process, suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has employed various delaying tactics to avoid impeachment before her term ends in mid-October.

Her aim is to secure a “gratuity” of about R10 million she will receive when she completes her term by ensuring she is not impeached before then.

These delaying tactics included launching court challenges, calling irrelevant witnesses, seeking recusals, changing lawyers, and filibustering during committee proceedings.

It would be a public outrage if someone who significantly harmed the Office of the Public Protector could escape unscathed and receive a substantial final payment at taxpayers’ expense through deliberately avoiding accountability.

The DA is determined to ensure that the impeachment process is finalised, to prevent this last abuse of her office by Mkhwebane for personal gain.

The DA applauds the Section 194 Committee’s adoption of the final report, recommending Advocate Mkhwebane’s permanent removal from office due to incompetence and misconduct. The prolonged and convoluted process was largely influenced by Mkhwebane’s Stalingrad approach, prolonging the hearings.

In 2020, the DA initiated proceedings to assess whether Mkhwebane should be ousted as the Public Protector. It would be an injustice if she were allowed to retire with a golden handshake simply because her term runs out before she is finally impeached. The DA recognises that the Committee bent over backwards to accommodate Mkhwebane’s numerous requests that causes such delays in the process.

Numerous charges against Mkhwebane stem from investigations into matters such as the SA Reserve Bank/CIEX case, the Vrede Dairy project, the SARS Investigating unit, and the CR17/Bosasa issue. Concerns over her behaviour during these investigations led to the Section 194 inquiry into her fitness for office.

The DA urges prompt tabling of the Committee’s final report in the National Assembly. It is crucial that the Assembly reaches a decision before Mkhwebane’s term ends on October 14th, as her failure to be impeached would be an evasion of accountability,

Completing these removal proceedings prior to her term’s conclusion is vital for the Public Protector’s office’s integrity and Parliament’s oversight role.