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MPs set to discuss initiating process to remove Mkhwebane from office

According to National Assembly rules, a resolution for the removal of the Public Protector must be adopted with a supporting vote of at least two-thirds of MPs in the House.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.  Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament will meet on Tuesday to discuss and decide on whether to initiate a process for the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office.

The Justice Committee will also discuss the request from Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip John Steenhuisen that the National Assembly set in motion a parliamentary process to remove her.

Steenhuisen first made the call to sack Mkhwebane about two years ago following a scathing High Court judgment against her on the South African Reserve Bank.

In 2017, Mkhwebane ordered the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recover more than R1.125 billion of “misappropriated public funds” on behalf of the central bank from Absa, an “illegal gift” to Bankorp from the Reserve Bank in the 1980s. Bankorp was absorbed into Absa in 1992.

Last year, the High Court reviewed and set aside Mkhwebane’s report and remedial action, after having found that she did not fully understand her constitutional duty to be impartial and to perform her functions without fear, favour or prejudice.

The issue has now been added to the Justice Committee’s agenda.

The previous committee blocked any calls for an inquiry into Mkhwebane.

But Speaker Thandi Modise eventually acceded to the DA’s request for the inquiry, giving members the go-ahead to proceed.

According to National Assembly rules, a resolution for the removal of the Public Protector must be adopted with a supporting vote of at least two-thirds of MPs in the House.

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