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Parliament, Tuesday, 15 March 2022 – The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa informing him that the Committee on Section 194 enquiry - which considers the removal process of office bearers of institutions supporting democracy - will be resuming with its proceedings.

The Committee, which is currently considering whether or not there are grounds for removal from office of the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, had to pause its proceedings pending the judgment of the Constitutional Court regarding the constitutionality of the National Assembly (NA) rules governing removal processes for the office bearers of institutions supporting democracy.

In its judgement, the court held that Parliament proceed with the enquiry provided it makes provision for the Public Protector to have legal representation during the process. The court further found that the inclusion of a judge in the panel of experts did not offend the doctrine of separation of powers.

The Speaker’s letter to the President is being sent out of courtesy, as the President is responsible for the appointment and removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions in terms of the Constitution.

This follows the Committee’s meeting on 22 February wherein the Committee adopted the terms of reference which set out the parameters of the enquiry and where it resolved to continue with its consideration of the motion of removal of the Public Protector. The motion was tabled on 21 February 2020 by the Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, Ms Natasha Mazzone.

The enquiry is limited to considering the charges as contained in the motion, which are of alleged incompetence and/or misconduct.

The Enquiry is a constitutional process to establish, on the basis of evidence presented, whether the PP is incompetent or has misconducted herself as alleged. It is neither a judicial nor quasi-judicial process, nor is it an adversarial process. It is an inquisitorial process, informed by Parliament’s constitutional oversight mandate, and the principle of fairness shall be paramount to the manner in which the Committee conducts the Enquiry.

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930