Mkhwebane concourt zuma

Picture: Moeletsi Mabe/ Sunday Times

Mkhwebane’s days numbered? Ramaphosa intends SUSPENDING her

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will consult her legal team in response to the pending suspension by President Cyril Ramaphosa

Mkhwebane concourt zuma

Picture: Moeletsi Mabe/ Sunday Times

The bid to give Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane the boot is nearing a crescendo, with President Cyril Ramaphosa giving her 10 days to explain why he should not suspend her.

Mkhwebane and Ramaphosa have been at loggerheads for quite some time, in respect of their previous legal battles. The bid to suspend Mkhwebane stems from the impeachment process she faces.

In a statement released on Thursday, 17 March 2022, Mkhwebane says she learnt via the news outlets that Parliamentary Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula wrote to Ramaphosa, informing him about the process to impeach her

“This afternoon [Mkhwebane] received a letter from the president confirming the news reports and informing her that he is considering suspending her in terms of section 194(3)(a). The letter further invites the public protector to, within 10 working days, provide reasons why the president should not take such a step,” read a statement from Mkhwebane’s office.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane will now be weighing her legal options in response to the pending suspension by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Mkhwebane further implies that the move by Ramaphosa to even opt to suspend her may have been a hasty one and intends asking him for a copy of the letter.

“Although the president’s letter makes reference to the correspondence from the speaker and purports to attach it, no such letter was actually attached, suggesting a rushed process. The public protector will on Friday request a copy of the letter in question from the president,”

“Contrary to the prevailing narrative, all she has ever asked for is a fair section 194 process. To that end, she will be consulting with her legal team first thing tomorrow morning (Friday 18 March 2022) to map the way forward. In the meantime, no further public statements will be made on this matter given its obviously legal nature”

Office of the Public Protector

Here’s a recap: Then National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise had roped in a three-member panel to determine if there were merits to the lack of faith MPs have expressed in the public protector. Modise appointed Justice Bess Nkabinde as chairperson of the panel along with Advocates Dumisa Ntsebeza and Johan De Waal – they found that there was prima facie evidence of incompetence and misconduct on Mkhwebane’s part. This is what paved the way for the probe into her fitness for office.