DA wants Mkhwebane urgently removed from office after Estina ruling

The North Gauteng High Court earlier ordered Mkhwebane personally foot 7.5% of the legal costs of the DA and Casac in the Estina Dairy Farm matter.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on 22 July 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said the North Gauteng High Court ruling on the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s Estina Dairy Farm report made it clear that Parliament couldn't further delay removing her from office.

Mkhwebane was hit with a second costs order by the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

The North Gauteng High Court earlier ordered Mkhwebane personally foot 7.5% of the legal costs of the DA and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) in the Estina Dairy Farm matter.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said Mkhwebane's bruising defeats were stacking up on a weekly basis, and the longer she stayed at the helm of the chapter nine institution, the more damage she would do.

Steenhuisen said the scathing comments in the judgement about her conduct were even further evidence that Parliament could no longer kick the can down the road in dealing with the matter.

“Parliament is going to soon find itself in dereliction of duty if it doesn’t start the proceedings and lead the process to establish the rules of engagement to ensure that the Public Protector inquiry begins into Mkhwebane’s suitability to hold office.”

Steenhuisen said in her almost three years in office, Mkhwebane successfully tarnished the credibility, authority and independence of the Office of the Public Protector.

The matter would now go before the justice portfolio committee which is expected to discuss Mkhwebane at its meeting in September.

Meanwhile, various organisations under the banner of the Concerned Citizens Alliance are planning a march to the Public Protector's office, calling for her removal.

The march came after several damning court findings against Mkhwebane which have questioned her credibility and understanding of the law.

Hangwi Maumela, the spokesperson for the Concerned Citizens Alliance, said: We have confirmed that the public money or the tax money is being used and someone is taking advantage of it. So, what we want is that the Public Protector should be recalled.”