- Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has lost her bid to halt the effort to removal
- The parliamentary process to conduct an inquiry into her removal from office will now continue
- The Western Cape High Court found that the national legislature has the right to initiate the removal process against her
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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has lost her application to bring the process to remove her from office to a halt.
The Western Cape High Court handed down judgment on Friday, finding that national legislature indeed has the right to initiate a process to remove a public protector.
Judge Vincent Saldanha opted to dismiss the Public Protector's application, saying that the public looked to the Speaker of the National Assembly to deal with matters like this.
The judicial official found that the process undertaken by Parliament was not wrong, commenting that:
"I am more than satisfied that the applicant (Mkhwebane) has failed to make out a case that she, let alone her office or the public as she claims, would suffer irreparable harm in the event of the proceedings resuming against her."
Saldanha noted that Mkhwebane had asserted her innocence in the charges against her:
"The applicant has in my view failed to meet any of the requirements for interim relief. Even if I had done so, I would have exercised my discretion in refusing such relief given the severity of the charges that had been preferred against her and which have been based on trenchant findings by none higher than the Constitutional Court with regard to her conduct, her honesty and her methodology of investigation.“
Speaker Thandi Modise indicated that the inquiry may proceed against Mkhwebane after seeking out legal advice on the issue.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the Democratic Alliance had led the effort to begin the unprecedented process of removing Mkhwebane from office.
The process had never been done, warranting deliberation over the rules and criteria for the removal of the head of the public body.
The opposition party had been adamant that Mkhwebane had failed in her duties, dubbing her incompetent for the position.
This had followed a string of embarrassing court losses with numerous judges finding issues with the Public Protector's reports on numerous matters.
One of the most critical court failures was when Mkhwebane's report on the controversial Estina dairy project was slammed by the judge preceding over the matter.
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