Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Photo by: Reuters
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will "push ahead" with its attempt to have Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane removed from office, after its request to initiate proceedings was tabled in Parliament.
DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach on Friday said their request to initiate removal proceedings had been tabled and referred to the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services by Speaker Baleka Mbete.
At the heart of the DA's misgivings with Mkhwebane is her report on Bankorp's apartheid bailout, released in June.
The party accused Mkhwebane of "grossly over-reaching" her powers by recommending that the Constitution be amended to alter the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank, and dictating to Parliament how legislation should be amended.
"We now call on the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, and the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, to appear before the committee to detail their objections to the Public Protector’s deeply flawed ABSA/Bankorp report," Breytenbach said.
They've also said she has showed a "poor understanding" of the law and has "sacrificed" her independence by consulting with the Presidency and the State Security Agency on remedial action recommended in the report.
The DA and Mkhwebane's office have endured a fractious relationship since then.
Mkhwebane's office laid charges against deputy chief whip Mike Waters for allegedly "contravening the Public Protector Act" earlier this month.
Waters was accused of sharing a provisional report with the public in a party statement before the findings were complete.
He had asked Mkhwebane to investigate whether Minister of State Security David Mahlobo had lied to Parliament when he claimed he "didn't know" student leader Mcebo Dlamini.
The provisional report, according to Waters, looked likely to exonerate Mahlobo, despite video evidence of the minister seemingly contradicting himself.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Tuesday requested a meeting with Mkhwebane to get to the bottom of the status of at least 11 investigations the party had asked her office to probe.
Public Protector spokesperson Cleopatra Mosana told News24 on Thursday that they had already asked to meet with Maimane on two occasions in July 2017, which "was not honoured".
She did not comment on the status of the investigations. A date has yet to be set for a meeting with Maimane, his office confirmed on Friday.
The DA was the only party to reject Mkhwebane's appointment in September last year.
Deputy public protector
A request from Waters to institute an inquiry into deputy public protector Kevin Malunga has also been referred to the committee.
It was revealed in August last year that Malunga did not have the required security clearance to apply for the top job through Parliament's ad hoc committee process.
He explained he was naturalised as a South African citizen in 2010, and had denounced his Zimbabwean citizenship.
The letter was received from the State Security Agency.