Call for proof of protector’s incompetence
THE ANC in Parliament has called for evidence to back up claims that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is incapable of doing her job and needs to be removed from office.
This follows the decision of the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services to not immediately support the call by opposition parties to axe Mkhwebane.
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said yesterday they needed evidence that would justify the calls for Mkhwebane’s removal.
He said the ANC would not go against the act that created the Office of the Public Protector when it came to her removal.
“Anyone who says the public protector is not fit to hold office must prove that to us,” he said.
He added that the constitution and the Public Protector Act created the safeguards that would lead to her removal if she failed to do her job properly. He said the fact that some of her reports had been reviewed unfavourably by the courts did not mean she was not fit to hold office.
“A review of a call by the public protector does not make her unfit for office. We will support any proven evidence, notwithstanding the safeguards, but you must prove incompetence,” said Mthembu.
In Parliament this week the DA, EFF and ACDP called for the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services to institute an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.
This came after court judgments that were scathing of her, as well as the reports that have been questioned.
Mkhwebane lost the court battle on the Absa/Bankorp lifeboat report. She is appealing it in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
But the DA said she was not appealing the entire judgment, just the sections dealing with the cost order against her.
The committee decided that it would allow Mkhwebane to respond to the submission made by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen for her to be axed.
At the same briefing in Parliament, Mthembu denied that the ANC was following the EFF in the programme of the national legislature. This came after the ANC amended the EFF motion three months ago on the expropriation of land without compensation.
“There are many laws we passed in the National Assembly that the EFF did not support. How on earth are we tailing the EFF?” asked Mthembu.