Parliament, Tuesday, 22 August 2023 – The Committee for Section 194 Enquiry into Public Protector (PP) Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office today adopted its final report in which it recommends to the National Assembly (NA) that Adv Mkhwebane be removed from office on grounds of incompetence and misconduct as established by the evidence before the committee.

At the start of the meeting, committee Chairperson, Mr Qubudile Dyantyi, said Adv Mkhwebane had not provided written comment on the committee’s draft report which was sent to her on 11 August with an opportunity to provide written responses by 21 August. He said the committee instead received correspondence from Motsoeneng Bill Attorneys on Sunday evening introducing themselves as Adv Mkhwebane’s new attorneys of record and indicating they have not met with her to take instructions yet at the same time calling the process illegal and unfair.

They requested a few weeks to familiarize themselves with the matter but provided no firm commitments in this regard. They indicated further that they intend briefing counsel to provide a status quo report and advice saying that the deadline to submit comments was illegal and questioning whether the submission of comments was even the next step of the process.

The committee re-emphasized that at no stage did it refuse or hinder Adv Mkhwebane from being legally represented. Members of the committee throughout the proceedings emphasized the countless opportunities given to Adv Mkhwebane to address her apparent challenges with legal assistance as well as the role the committee played in assisting her with issues related to funds and the payment of her legal team even though these matters fell outside the mandate of the committee.

The majority of members of the committee who participated in the meeting representing the African National Congress, Democratic Alliance, African Christian Democratic Party, Freedom Front Plus and Inkatha Freedom Party – were in favour of the adoption of the final report.

The committee highlighted that it had “bent over backwards” to accommodate Adv Mkhwebane during this process and that in the absence of any written comments from her on its draft report, it has no other option but to adopt its final report in accordance with its Constitutional obligations. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) voted against the adoption of the report. The EFF and ATM had both indicated they will take the report on review. In its view, Al Jama’ah noted that the penalty of removal was harsh and based on that it did not support the recommendation.

Mr Dyantyi said the report will be put into a final format and sent to the NA for adoption. The committee was established on 16 March 2021 to conduct a constitutional enquiry into the PP’s fitness to hold office. Committee documents can be found at Committee for Section 194 Enquiry - Parliament of South Africa at Committee for Section 194 Enquiry - Parliament of South Africa


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