Parliament, Friday, 9 September 2022 – The National Assembly Speaker, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula notes the order of the Western Cape High Court delivered today dismissing Public Protector Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s application to, amongst others, declare the conduct of the Speaker and certain decisions of the Section 194 Committee to be unlawful.

The Public Protector sought to challenge the conduct of the Speaker and decisions of the Section 194 Committee based on the following grounds:

  • The National Assembly’s (NA) failed to amend NA Rule 129AD(3) in line with the judgement of the Constitutional Court,
  • the unilateral determination by the Chairperson of the Section 194 Committee of the 30-day period within which the Public Protector was required to respond to the allegations as well as the failure and/or refusal to grant an extension,
  • the infringement of the sub judice rule (rule 89 of the NA Rules): and
  • sought an order by the High Court to develop the common law to include a rule automatically suspending the execution of an order which is the subject of a pending application for rescission.

The Court held that it was not necessary for the NA to amend Rule 129AD(3) as the Constitutional Court had already done so. It further held that Adv Mkhwebane failed to present evidence before the Court demonstrating how she was prejudiced by the unilateral determination of the 30-day period as well as the alleged refusal to grant the extension that she requested of Chairperson of the Section 194 Committee. The extension that was allowed was fair according to the court.

On the infringement of the sub judice rule, the Court held that the Public Protector placed no facts before the Court to demonstrate that the inquiry by the Section 194 Committee would result in the members of the Committee having to reflect on the merits of her second application for rescission.

Importantly the court found that Speaker, in writing the letter to the President informing him of the start of the process of the Section 194 Committee was factually correct and therefore not unlawful. Pertinently, that the Speaker’s actions were in line with the principle of co-operative government.

The Section 194 Committee which is conducting an inquiry into the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office is currently continuing with its meetings.

At the completion of its inquiry, the Committee is expected to present a report which must contain findings and recommendations to be considered by the National Assembly.


Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo