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Parliament to 'look into fitness' of Mkhwebane - but only in September

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's future in office will be determined by parliament in September.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's future in office will be determined by parliament in September.

The portfolio committee on justice and correctional services will in September discuss the fitness of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to hold office.

This was announced by the committee's chairperson, Bulelani Magwanishe, in a statement on Wednesday.

The move was initiated by the DA, which wrote to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise at the start of this parliamentary term to request that parliament considers whether or not Mkhwebane is "fit and proper" for the position.

Magwanishe said the committee had received communication from Modise to process the matter. However, he said the committee would only do so after the parliament recess, scheduled to end on September 3.

"The committee will discuss the request and map out a way forward at the first possible opportunity when it resumes its work after the parliamentary recess period, provisionally set down for September 3. It is only after that the committee would be able to comment further on this matter," said Magwanishe.

Calls for Mkhwebane's removal have been mounting, with the SACP echoing the DA that parliament should look into her fitness - or lack thereof - to hold office.

The DA, particularly, has always been opposed to Mkhwebane's occupation of the office since her appointment three years ago.

The Helen Suzman Foundation is the latest organisation to make the same call, telling Modise: "Our courts have now repeatedly confirmed that the institution of the public protector and its constitutional promise and mission are now being continuously undermined and irreparably harmed by the incumbent bearer of that office."

Mkhwebane's future has came into the spotlight after she suffered back-to-back legal blows, losing both a Constitutional Court costs order in the SA Reserve Bank matter and an interdict by the North Gauteng High Court that suspended her remedial action against minister Pravin Gordhan.


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