Investigate Mkhwebane's fitness for office, say SACP and DA
Parliament should initiate an inquiry into public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office and hold her to account for her actions.
This was the call made by the SA Communist Party (SACP) following Monday's judgment against her in the Constitutional Court.
The country's apex court dismissed Mkhwebane’s appeal against a high court order that she must pay some legal costs from her own pocket. The cost order was granted after a report by Mkhwebane into Absa and the Reserve Bank was taken on judicial review.
“South Africa cannot afford to have an individual who has been found to be dishonest by the apex court of the land still continuing to function in that capacity,” said the SACP in a statement.
The party took note of the ConCourt's finding that Mkhwebane put forward “a number of falsehoods in the course of litigation”, including misrepresenting under oath certain facts that underpinned her investigation.
The DA said the ConCourt judgment proved that the public protector’s failings went much deeper than simple technical errors. "Simply put, she is not fit to hold the office she occupies and is in actual fact grossly incompetent," said the party.
The DA said a distinction must be drawn between the current incumbent of the office of the public protector, Mkhwebane, and the office itself.
“Nobody can argue that the current incumbent is by any stretch of the imagination a suitable occupant,” said DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.
He said the DA believed that every report produced by the office of the public protector should still be judged on its own merits. “The DA will therefore write to the speaker to request that our complaint regarding the public protector’s fitness to hold office be expedited.”
Steenhuisen added that the party would study the judgment and court papers in order to determine whether there were grounds for perjury charges to be laid against Mkhwebane.