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MPs look to ensure proper processes in place for possible PP inquiry

The National Assembly’s rules committee has been asked to urgently draw up rules and procedures for bringing about the removal of heads of Chapter Nine institutions, such as the Public Protector.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: @PublicProtector/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Whether or not Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will face an inquiry into her fitness to hold office has yet to be decided.

But for now, Parliament is making sure it will have a proper process in place should the inquiry go ahead.

The National Assembly’s rules committee has been asked to urgently draw up rules and procedures for bringing about the removal of heads of Chapter Nine institutions, such as the Public Protector.

That's the decision taken by Parliament's justice portfolio committee on Tuesday.

Speaker Thandi Modise received the urgent request from the justice committee on Tuesday. Only once specific rules have been agreed on will the committee move to consider DA chief whip John Steenhuisen’s request for a formal inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

Steenhuisen said it could take as little as four weeks for the rules to be put in place.

“What we are intent on doing is ensuring that we firewall Parliament from having the process delayed or interdicted or obstructed later down the line by Ms Mkhwebane. So, once these rules are in place it will allow Parliament to proceed with confidence in removing [her] or at least having an inquiry.”

ANC whip on the justice committee Hishaam Mohamed said the party would ensure the process was fair and transparent.

“We’ve asked the rules committee of the National Assembly to urgently provide us with the rules and procedures so that we can immediately follow with the task ahead.”

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