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EFF: Ramaphosa plans to render the office of the Public Protector powerless

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has blasted President Cyril Ramaphosa claiming he is plotting to disarm Public Protector’s Office.

According to Public Protector Advocate, Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office, the President sent her a letter in the afternoon [Thursday, March 17, 2022] confirming press reports and notifying her that he is considering suspending her under section 194(3) (a).of the Constitution.

The letter further requests the Public Protector to provide reasons why the President should not take such a step within 10 working days.

The EFF national spokesperson, Sinawo Thambo said President Ramaphosa’s attempt to suspend Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is premature and dictatorial considering the pending parliamentary inquiry into her fitness to hold public office.

Thambo said the Public Protector’s Parliamentary inquiry should get enough time to complete its task.

He said suspending Advocate Mkhwebane was part of Ramaphosa’s plan to pull out the Office of the Public Protector’s teeth.

President Ramaphosa has under Article 194 of the Constitution given Public Protector ten days to explain why he should not suspend her.

According to Thambo, Ramaphosa’s decision is premature and hurried, which implies he made it out of fear than logic.

“Advocate Mkhwebane has been relentless in her pursuit of bringing people in power accountable, and she has done so indiscriminately, implicating President Ramaphosa and his cronies.

He said Ramaphosa’s hunger for power drives him to destroy institutions, create vacancies, and run the country as a dictator to make sure that anyone who dares to challenge him ends up being ousted.

“Ramaphosa has exploited the procedure set by Parliament to expose an individual he regards as a political opponent, in yet another example of how he is abusing his power to trample on the rights of an African woman,” said Thambo.

President Ramaphosa is compromised and conflicted, and cannot make an objective decision on a Chapter 9 institution that has investigated matters related to him.”

In a letter to the Public Protector, considering the commission report, President Ramaphosa asked whether it will be proper to suspend her until the committee work is complete.

In accordance with Section 194(3) (a), of the Constitution, the President may dismiss a Public Protector, Auditor General, or a member of a Commission established under Chapter 9 of the Constitution from office after the procedure for the dismissal by the National Assembly Committee

The Public Protector’s office said in a statement on March 16 that Advocate Mkhwebane learned from news sources the day after the Speaker of the National Assembly had written to the President informing him of the decision to begin the impeachment against her.

“It’s strange that the letter in question wasn’t copied to the Public Protector. She found out about it from news reports.”

Public Protector’s office said on [March 18, 2022] Advocate Mkhwebane will be in consultation with her legal team.

“Until further notice, no public statements will be made in this matter, as it is legal,” the Public Protector’s office said.

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