South Africa 22.8.2018 11:07 am

Parly committee’s deliberations on Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office postponed

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during a press briefing held at her offices, 4 December 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during a press briefing held at her offices, 4 December 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

In her written reply, Mkhwebane requests that some members of the committee should recuse themselves from the hearings.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has postponed to next week its deliberations on the written reply by Public Protector Advocate Busisiswe Mkhwebane on whether or not she should be removed from office.

Mkhwebane reportedly submitted in writing reasons why she should not be removed from her office, and why a formal inquiry into her fitness to hold the office of the public protector should not be set up.

READ MORE: Mkhwebane stumps justice portfolio committee with no-show

The Democratic Alliance (DA) want Mkhwebane removed from the office of the Public Protector following the high court finding that she had overreached her powers, when she recommended that the Constitution should be amended to change the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb).

Mkhwebane reportedly submitted her written reply to the DA’s complaint at 11 pm on Tuesday, which allegedly annoyed members of the committee.

In her written submission, Mkhwebane requested that some members of the committee should recuse themselves, saying she is of the view that with these members present, the hearings may not be fair, as she had been “greatly concerned” by their “utterances” and the “firm positions” they had adopted.

The committee said in a statement that it has postponed the agenda to consider and deliberate on the written reply of the Public Protector to next week Wednesday, August 29.

Chief Whip of the DA John Steenhuisen wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to ask that a process be put in place to institute the removal of the Public Protector, alleging that she is not fit to hold office. Mbete then referred the matter to the committee, which then invited Steenhuisen to make an oral presentation with regard to his request to the office of the Speaker, the statement added.

Subsequently, the committee took a decision to allow Adv Mkhwebane to make a written reply with regard to Steenhuisen’s proposal and allegations, the committee said.

This was not the first time that Mkhwebane snubbed the committee.

In June, the Public Protector failed to appear before the committee, saying in a statement she had been given short notice for her appearance but had intended to appear before the committee.

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