Public protector releases reports her office investigated

Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane during a press briefing at the Public Protectors House, 12 December 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Mkhwebane is also expected to address some of the issues affecting her office.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will on Tuesday release investigation reports the public office has concluded, as well as comment on matters of public interest affecting her office.

Mkhwebane still has to respond to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise approving a motion to initiate proceedings for her removal as public protector.

Parliament last week announced that it had adopted formal rules for the removal of a head of a Chapter 9 institution, which was put in a request to Modise by the DA’s chief whip, Natasha Mazzone.

Should Modise be satisfied that the motion meets all requirements, she must refer to the motion and supporting documentation for a preliminary assessment to an independent panel.

Modise has written to political parties to propose nominees to serve on the panel made up of fit and proper South African citizens.

The panel must have the necessary legal competencies and experience to conduct the assessment. Parties have until 7 February to submit their recommended nominees, after which a panel will be appointed.

Mkhwebane had earlier written to Modise to complain that there were no rules for the process to remove her and threatened court action.

After considering the case, the committee referred it to the rules committee, which then drafted them.

The National Assembly then adopted the justice committee’s recommendation to appoint Kholeka Gcaleka as the deputy public protector.

The constitution empowers the president to suspend the head of a chapter 9 institution when they are under investigation. In that case, the deputy public protector would act as public protector. This will also be the case if the incumbent is removed until a new public protector is appointed.

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