All clear for Parly inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness after court ruling

Mkhwebane had tried to challenge an October ruling which dismissed her application for an interim order to stop National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise from pressing ahead with a motion for her removal.

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

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court has denied Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane leave to appeal its judgment, which clears the way for a parliamentary inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Mkhwebane had tried to challenge an October ruling, which dismissed her application for an interim order to stop National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise from pressing ahead with a motion for her removal.

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The mater was heard last week, and the ruling handed down on Wednesday.

Mkhwebane’s application was opposed by the National Assembly speaker, the first respondent, the President, the second respondent and the Democratic Alliance, which is listed as the tenth respondent.

In refusing the application, the court held, among others, the impeachment process of an office-bearer of a Chapter 9 institution is a serious mechanism for accountability under the Constitution and a court should not lightly interfere with such processes.

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In her appeal papers, the Public Protector argued not granting her an interim order could get her suspended even before the parliamentary rules are tested constitutionally.

The court has found there are no prospects of the appeal succeeding.

Mkhwebane was ordered to pay the costs of the speaker and one other respondent.

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