Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Tuesday resolved to agree to a request by Democratic Alliance (DA) to hold an inquiry into Adv Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.
Committee chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga proposed the matter be referred back to the speaker of the National Assembly, adding that Ad Havoc Committee be appointed to deal with the matter.
The request was initially made by the DA to the Speaker and then referred to the Committee.
In less than a year, since her appointment, the DA has accused Mkhwebane of being unfit to hold Public Protector’s office following the release of her Absa report in which she recommended that parliament change the constitution to amend the powers of the South African Reserve Bank.
This recommendation received negative response from parliament, Absa, SARB and political parties.
According to Motshekga, the appointment of Advocate Mokhwebane was done by an Ad Hoc Committee and, therefore, an inquiry into the removal should be done by an Ad Hoc Committee.
“This view was supported by some members of the Committee. However, after a short caucus, the majority felt that the Committee is the correct forum/mechanism to deal with such an inquiry as it performed oversight over the work of the Office of the Public Protector. The Committee further resolved to hold these meetings outside of normal parliamentary hours, after hours or over weekends, should there be a need for it,” said Motshekga.
DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Glynnis Breytenbach said the work of her predecessor, Adv. Thuli Madonsela, greatly strengthened our democracy and provided a bulwark against state corruption.
However, said Breytenbach, the inept and discredited work done by Adv. Mkhwebane threatens to undermine public confidence in the Public Protector’s Office, precisely at a time when South Africa needs it most.
“Mkhwebane can and will be removed, in terms of Section 194 of the Constitution, and we look forward to making our case for her removal,” added Breytenbach.