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Mkhwebane to challenge her suspension as Parly welcomes court judgment against her

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Mkhwebane to challenge her suspension as Parly welcomes court judgment against her

Image of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Photo by Reuters
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

10th June 2022

By: Thabi Madiba
Creamer Media Senior Research Assistant and Reporter

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said on Friday she would challenge her “suspicious and legally questionable suspension” by President Cyril Ramaphosa as she faced another legal blow following Friday’s High Court judgment that found against her.

Mkhwebane tried to interdict National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and the Section 194 Committee from taking any further steps in the impeachment process against her. She also tried to interdict Ramaphosa from suspending her.

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The Court dismissed the application for urgent interim relief, with a personal costs order against her.

Ramaphosa announced his decision to suspend Mkhwebane on Thursday evening, before the High Court judgment was handed down.

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The Public Protector said she would challenge Ramaphosa’s decision to suspend her, claiming it was done in contempt of court.

“I will also challenge suspicious and legally questionable suspension decision made yesterday, more particularly in so far as it was done in apparent contempt of court, in breach of undertakings made to me by the President via his lawyers and by a President who is now even more conflicted given the more recent Glencore and Phala Phala complaints/investigations,” Mkhwebane said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Parliament said on Friday it agreed with the High Court judgment

“We agree with the court that held that the application fell overwhelmingly short of the requirements of interdictory relief because she has not shown even a prima facie right that should prevent the Committee from continuing with the impeachment process. Further, any interdict would cause inordinate delays, the court reasoned, which would cause serious prejudice against the separation of powers and the public interest,” said Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

This comes after the Constitutional Court held that Parliament may proceed with the enquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, provided it made provision for the Public Protector’s legal practitioner or other expert assisting her to participate in the Committee.

Mkhwebane said she remained hopeful and optimistic that one day justice will be done and that the truth will come out.

“There will indeed be much needed accountability by all those entrusted with very serious Constitutional powers including the President, Speaker, the judiciary and the Public Protector,” she said.

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