Unfit Public Protector Mkhwebane’s removal a victory for Parliament and accountability

Issued by Siviwe Gwarube MP – Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
11 Sep 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

The DA was today vindicated in its opposition to the appointment of Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane whose removal was voted for by the National Assembly with 318 members voting yes, 43 voting no and 1 abstiaing, achieving the necessary two-thirds threshold to remove a Chapter 9 Head.

In 2016, the DA was the only party to oppose this appointment. For the last seven years, we held firm in our conviction that she is not a suitable individual to occupy the office of Public Protector.

In 2020, after a number of scandals, the DA successfully initiated a Parliamentary inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office. A panel chaired by a retired judge found prima facie evidence that Mkhwebane was unfit to serve. This effort by the DA then gave ground for the Section 194 Impeachment Inquiry in 2021, whose Report was put before the National Assembly this afternoon for a vote.

While Mkhwebane has employed all sorts of Stalingrad tactics, costing the taxpayer more than R160 million as she disgracefully hung on, Parliament finally rectified this today.

History will remember how the ANC, EFF and other parties bulldozed through the decision to have an unfit Mkhwebane appointed into a position that she was never suitable for in the first place despite the DA raising valid concerns about her appointment in 2016. Today’s vote puts a close to a turbulent and regrettable chapter in our country’s history.

The DA takes great pride in the members who served on the Section 194 Committee, demonstrating diligence and upholding their oath of office, even in the face of harsh criticism and ad hominem attacks.

May this serve as a lesson to the institution on the critical importance of selecting fit-for-purpose candidates at all times, particularly as we prepare to nominate a new Public Protector in the coming days.