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Committee to look into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office will sit next month

Committees set up under the sixth Parliament were only due to start meeting and electing their chairpersons during the first week of July.

Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: @PublicProtector/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Parliament said the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services was only expected to sit for the first time early next month when it would be seized with a new request from the Democratic Alliance (DA) that Parliament initiates proceedings aimed at removing Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise wrote to the party informing it that she would refer its request to the committee for it to consider.

Committees set up under the sixth Parliament were only due to start meeting and electing their chairpersons during the first week of July.

It’s unclear, therefore, how soon the DA’s request will be dealt with by the committee.

It comes after the Gauteng High Court last month found Mkhwebane’s report on the Gupta-linked Estina dairy farm project unconstitutional and set it aside on the basis that she failed in her duties to investigate and report on it.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the committee should thoroughly examine all the judgments that have gone against Mkhwebane and provide the National Assembly with a proper assessment on her fitness to hold office.

“There’s been a number of scathing overturnings of her judgments, some of them declared unconstitutional. It’s very odd to have a constitutional office bearer who’s meant to defend the Constitution having judgments and findings overturned as unconstitutional,” Steenhuisen said.

Mkhwebane has indicated she wants to appeal the Estina report judgment.

Through her spokesperson Oupa Segalwe, Mkhwebane said she wouldn't comment on the latest move to oust her from office.

"We're not commenting on that at this stage. It has nothing to do with us except that it is about us, but it's a parliamentary process," Segalwe said.

Additional reporting by Jason Felix.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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