Parliament, Friday, 11 August 2023 – The Committee for Section 194 Enquiry into Public Protector (PP) Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office today resolved to recommend to the National Assembly (NA) for her removal based on conclusive evidence on the charges of incompetence and misconduct.

Following the adoption of a draft report, Adv Mkhwebane will now be given a final opportunity to respond in writing to the draft report by 21 August 2023 for the committee’s further consideration. The committee will thereafter adopt a final report for tabling in the NA.

Committee Chairperson Mr Qubudile Dyantyi said at the start of the meeting that the committee received correspondence that Adv Mkhwebane’s most recent attorneys, Chaane Attorneys, had withdrawn as her attorneys of record without having briefed her senior counsel since their appointment. This is Adv Mkhwebane’s second attorneys of record to withdraw. He also informed the meeting about an application by Adv Winston Erasmus for him to reconsider his decision not to recuse himself, but Mr Dyantyi said he will not reconsider his decision. The committee resolved that it will not entertain Adv Erasmus’s application as it is not relevant to the mandate of the committee.

The committee re-emphasised that at no stage did it refuse or hinder Adv Mkhwebane from being legally represented. The committee highlighted that, in fact, it assisted Adv Mkhwebane by halting its process to resolve funding issues and secure additional funding, despite this not being part of the committee’s mandate.

A majority of members who participated in the meeting were in favour of removing the Adv Mkhwebane and stated that the decision was based on the overwhelming and conclusive evidence placed before it. Two political parties, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Al Jama’ah, voted against the recommendation of removal. The EFF, which did not object to any of the committee’s findings during deliberations, complained about the fairness of the process and said it intends to take the report on review.

The committee took exception to being accused by certain members of coming into the process with a predetermined view and following a party line instead of basing decisions on evidence. Members made it clear they approached this process without any preconceived decisions about the outcome.

Mr Dyantyi said in his conclusion that in some instances where the committee either did not have evidence against Adv Mkhwebane or were not convinced of the evidence placed before it, it exonerated her and found in her favour. “This clearly speaks of a fair process, a process that members entered into without any preconceived idea of an outcome.”

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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