- Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was expected to start the battle to save her job on Wednesday
- Mkhwebane was scheduled to appear before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee for Justice to give reasons for why she should not be fired from her job
- The committee had to postpone proceedings after Mkhwebane made a written submission asking that certain MPs recuse themselves from proceedings
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was expected to start the battle to save her job on Wednesday morning. Mkhwebane was due to appear before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee for Justice to give evidence and provide reasons for her not to be fired.
Instead, the committee was forced to postpone proceedings after Mkhwebane once again decided at the last minute not to attend the meeting. Mkhwebane did, however, make a written submission in which she asked certain MPs to recuse themselves.
Mkhwebane claims that certain MPs had been openly hostile towards her which means they cannot be allowed to sit on the committee and be trusted to act in an impartial manner.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip, John Steenhuisen, who has been vocal in his criticism of Mkhwebane’s tenure asked Parliament to establish a committee to look into her fitness to hold office.
Steenhuisen has been critical of Mkhwebane’s record while in office and has slammed her ill-judged recommendation about the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) changing its Constitutional mandate.
eNCA.com reported that the recommendation has since been set aside and a court found that Mkhwebane had overreached the powers of her office in making the recommendation.
In her written submission Mkhwebane notes that Steenhuisen’s action in forcing the committee to evaluate her fitness to hold office was not only highly irregular but also unconstitutional because it threatens to undermine the guaranteed impendence of the office of the public protector.
Mkhwebane notes that Steenhuisen and other members of the committee had shown palpable hostility towards her and had rehashed previous attacks and allegations against her. This she claims means the committee is already unduly prejudiced towards her which negates its purpose.
Mkhwebane has been heavily criticised for the recommendation with some even questioning whether she had a firm grasp of the Constitution.
Since taking office in October 2016 Mkhwebane has been involved in a number of questionable matters and she has even been accused of trying to bury the state capture report compiled by her predecessor Thuli Madonsela.
She has also come under fire for failing to investigate allegations of corruption and looting by high-ranking members of the ANC and in particular allegations against Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane in relation to the Estina dairy scandal.
The Justice committee has not commented on when it expects to resume its inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness for office.
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