The Constitution and the Rules of the National Assembly provide for procedures to remove an office-bearer in State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy. In 2020, the Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, Ms Natasha Mazzone, invoked these procedures and tabled a motion for the removal of the incumbent Public Protector.
In accordance with the Rules, the Speaker appointed Justice B Nkabinde, Advocate D Ntsebeza SC and Advocate J De Waal SC to constitute an independent panel, established to conduct a preliminary inquiry and assess whether there was prima facie evidence to show that the Public Protector committed misconduct, was incapacitated or was incompetent. The rules prescribe the composition and functions of the panel, including that it must conclude its assessment within 30 days.
Owing to specific nature of the matter, however, the panel requested that the 30-day period be extended. On 4 December 2020, the Speaker invoked relevant provisions of the Rules, which enabled her to frame a rule to extend the deadline to 90 days.
The Panel has since completed its work and submitted its report to the Speaker. The Speaker expressed her appreciation to the panellists for their dedicated service. The report will be made available in the week of 1 March 2021.
Issued by the Parliament of South Africa