Parliament, Friday 7 February 2020 – National Assembly Speaker Ms Thandi Modise has written to parties advising them of the extension of the deadline for nominees to serve on the independent panel of experts, which will conduct a prima facie assessment of the motion proposing removal from office of Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The deadline, initially set for today, has been extended to Wednesday, 12 February. This follows requests to allow political parties represented in the National Assembly more time to submit nominees.

Once the Speaker has received these names she will apply her mind and establish the panel.

The National Assembly Rules about removing Chapter 9 office bearers specify that the three-person panel must be fit and proper South Africans who collectively have the necessary legal and other competencies to conduct the assessment. A judge may be appointed but the Speaker must make such an appointment in consultation with the Chief Justice.

Within 30 days of its appointment the panel must conduct and finalise a preliminary assessment of the motion proposing a section 194 inquiry and make a recommendation to the Speaker.

The Speaker must then schedule the panel’s recommendation for decision by the National Assembly. If the National Assembly resolves the inquiry should go ahead, the matter must be referred to a special section 194 committee for formal inquiry.

Speaker Modise has noted the papers served on her by legal representatives of Advocate Mkhwebane.

The papers seek to challenge the constitutionality of the Rules of the National Assembly regarding removal of office bearers of Chapter 9 State Institutions Supporting Democracy.

The Speaker will oppose the application in defence of Parliament’s powers, as provided for in the Constitution. The Constitution states that these institutions are accountable to the National Assembly.

The parliamentary process regarding the prima facie assessment of the motion proposing removal from office of the Public Protector will continue.

To download the soundbite of Parliament Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo please follow the link:

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930